BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the wake of recent shootings, including one in southern Maryland last week, school leaders in Howard County say they will spend more than $1 million on safety measures.
Officials say they are going to add buzzers with cameras at the front door of every school, as well as three new resource officers to middle schools and a supervisor.
One week after the deadly school shooting in St. Mary’s County, Howard County leaders announced new safety measures.
“When I heard about some of the things that needed to be fixed, it keeps you up at night,” Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said.
“It has definitely made me think more about security on our campus, not only for me, but for the other students,” Mount Hebron senior Emma Scott said.
Police released 911 calls from students at Great Mills High School, where a teen gunman walked into the school and opened fire last Tuesday.
Desmond Barnes, 14, was shot in the leg.
“I was just shot in my school,” Barnes told a dispatcher. “My knee hurts so bad.”
Barnes was the only person shot that day who survived.
Police say Austin Rollins, 17, shot his ex-girlfriend. Jaelynn Willey, 16, was shot in the head and died two days later after being taken off life support.
“I know those individuals, I know those students, and it was too close to home,” Interim Howard County Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano said.
Martirano used to be the superintendent in St. Mary’s County.
“These are our kids, and we must do everything that we can to leverage every resource possible to keep them safe,” he said.
At Great Mills High School, the quick actions of Deputy 1st Class Blaine Gaskill are credited with saving lives, although police determined Rollins killed himself.
Both the Howard County executive and superintendent praised Gaskill’s actions last week.
There have been school resource officer in Howard County since the Sandy Hook tragedy. There is also have a camera system that’s connected to the 911 call center.
Meanwhile, authorities in Queen Anne’s County say there will be an increased police presence at middle and high schools.