BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he will be adding $125 million to enhance school safety procedures in Maryland.
Hogan said the $125 million would be used to accelerate and enhance improvements such as secure doors and windows, metal detectors, security cameras and panic buttons.
Hogan also said he opposes President Donald Trump’s idea of arming teachers.
The Republican governor also says he will commit an additional $50 million a year in new school safety grants to supplement and improve state and local school safety efforts.
Hundreds of miles away in Baltimore County, conversations centered on the trauma and tragedy of the horrific events that unfolded in Parkland, Florida.
“My heart goes out to all of them, especially you know being an educator myself,” parent and teacher Tracy Barr said.
“I feel as if we’ve maybe reached a point where people are finally ready to get something done,” Gov. Hogan said. “No mom or dad should ever have to worry when they send their kids off to school in the morning.”
Funding for the added security would come from the State’s casino industry. The governor recently proposed a lockbox for the cash, ensuring an additional $4.4 billion for education.
“Anything that’s going to keep our kids safe is the most important thing to us,” parent and teacher Carolyn Brock said.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said the county has been ahead of the curve when it comes to improving school safety and security.
“We have cameras both inside and outside the school and importantly that camera feed is accessible to every single police officer in their laptop in the car,” Kamenetz said on Feb. 15.
Hogan also said he will increase the budget for the Maryland Center for School Safety by 600 percent. This will allow them to get social media experts to search for threats to schools.
Hogan outlined the plans at a news conference on the same day state lawmakers held a hearing on a bill to ban bump stocks. Those are devices that can increase a semi-automatic rifle’s firing rate to nearly fully automatic. Hogan said he supports the ban.
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