southgarland KDFW-TV
South Garland High School

Garland (Texas) district plans $36 million in security upgrades

Suburban district east of Dallas will add 1,000 video cameras and bolster protection at school entrances.

The Garland (Texas) district says it will spend about $36 million to upgrade school security.

KDFW-TV reports the upgrades will add cameras, upgrade the public address system and secure entries. The district announced its plans during a meeting with parents

“We think in terms of ‘What happens if somebody tries to bring a weapon in the school? How do we stop that?’” says Garland Director of Security Pat Lamb.

In February, a student brought a gun to South Garland High School just a day after the Parkland, Fla., shooting. Less than two weeks later, a teen was found with a semi-automatic rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a mask in the parking lot near Rowlett High School.

With funding from a 2014 bond program, Garland will install a thousand new cameras inside and outside every school and upgrade existing cameras.

“From our security office, if we see something on our 3,500 cameras that doesn't look right, we can pick up the phone and talk into the school in the PA,” Lamb said.

Telephone and PA systems will also be able to broadcast messages in any district building remotely. There will be vestibules to screen visitors before entering the building and door contacts to alert staff if doors are propped open for too long.

“Can we prevent all violence? We can prepare for it. We can respond to it. We can be trained in those regards,” Lamb says.

The enhancements are expected to be complete by 2019.

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