BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Anne Arundel County announced Tuesday that they will increase school safety with advancements such as doubling the amount of school resource officers they have, which will put one in every middle and high school.
Weeks later, the entire country is trying to come to grips with the massacre in Parkland, Florida. In Anne Arundel County, officials are desperate to make sure that same pain and heartache doesn’t hit their community.
“It’s been a nerve wracking time in the school systems, not only in Anne Arundel County, but across the state and across the country,” said Anne Arundel County Schools Superintendent George Arlotto.
The $14 million investment over the next two years will include new technology for improved security in schools and doubling school resource officers from 20 to 40.
“There’s roughly 122 schools in Anne Arundel county,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare. “We’ve had discussions on how to strengthen those schools and make them harder targets for a lunatic.”
Tuesday, a school resource officer identified a student who made a prank call to Broadneck High School. The principal sent a letter home to parents after a ninth grade girl was accused of threatening a shooting at the school.
“It’s not funny. It’s not taken lightly by the police department or by the school board,” said Lt. Ryan Frashure of the Anne Arundel County Police Department. “When we identify the individual that’s responsible for these types of incidents, we’re going to make sure we arrest them and they’re prosecuted to the fullest.”
“We don’t have the luxury of treating a school threat as not legitimate because it’s the one we don’t treat as legitimate that’s going to jump up and bite us,” Altomare said.
Police were able to track down the Broadneck High freshman. She’s been charged with disturbing school activity and threat of mass violence.
“it’s very important that the parents are aware of what their children are doing. We have conversations with our children that whatever they put online usually, it will stay online forever,” said Broadneck High School parent Jim Costello.
According to police, the charges against the student are misdemeanors.
The announcement comes days after Gov. Larry Hogan proposed $125 million for schools statewide to enhance safety.