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School security topic of joint commissioners, school board meeting


By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Monday, April 16, 2018

School security is the focus of a joint meeting between Pitt County’s Board of Commissioners and Board of Education , which begins at 4 p.m. today.

Pitt County Schools Superintendent Ethan Lenker is scheduled to provide presentations on the status of school security and the upgrades the school board will be including in its local budget request.

The joint meeting at the Pitt County Agricultural Center Auditorium, 403 Government Circle, is being held one week before the commissioners begin their workshops to develop the fiscal year 2018-19 county budget.

There are three upgrades that require one-time funding from the county, according to a school board budget planning document.

The school system estimates it will need $988,368 to install secured entrances in 34 of the county’s 37 public schools. The school system expects to budget $250,000 for the project.

Installing internal cameras in each school could cost $1.3 million.

Earlier this year the school board affirmed its commitment to purchasing cameras for its fleet of buses by August 2019. Installing camera systems in all 287 school and activity buses could cost $1.4 million.

The school system also is seeking additional support from the county and local municipalities to place more school resource officers in the system.

Currently there are 14 school resources officers working throughout the school system. The six high schools have a designated resource officer and other officers are assigned to multiple schools.

After the presentations, members of the two boards are scheduled to discuss security concerns and the possibility of seeking a statewide bond for school security measures.