School system takes strides toward enhanced security with school safety grant

By Staff Report, posted 2 weeks ago

Cumberland County Schools (CCS) has taken another step in its journey for school safety with the recent awarding of a grant geared toward funding safety equipment, training and services for students in crisis. The district applied for a safety grant from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) Center for Safer Schools (CFSS) and recently learned that it is one of 230 school districts and charter schools in the state to benefit from $35 million in safety grants.

According to Kevin Coleman, the associate superintendent of CCS' Auxiliary Services, the district's $103,400 award from the safety grant will be allocated to improve camera systems throughout the district by incorporating the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

"Adding artificial intelligence capability to our already upgraded camera system will help school staff maintain a safe and orderly environment," said Coleman in a press release. "AI will allow us to take advantage of technologies that utilize facial recognition, people detection and vehicle detection. Providing school administrators with these tools will help them utilize new technologies to help protect our students and staff."

This precautionary measure follows efforts that have already been made by the district that include enhancing high-definition security cameras, implementing upgrades to the Raptor visitor management system, enhancing The Say Something anonymous tip line and establishing Behavior, Intervention and Threat Assessment Teams.

In April 2023, CCS hosted the "School Safety: Let's Talk About It!" forum. During this event, more than 200 district and community leaders, law enforcement officers, families, educators and students shared their insights, proposing innovative safety measures to be implemented in the district. Some of the suggestions generated during the forum will now be realized through the allocation of these grant funds. 

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