Your child's safety is a top priority for Bay District Schools. The Safety and Security Department is making some big changes to keep students and staff safe and secure.
The department received more than $200,000 to make upgrades to existing technology and purchase new cameras.
Chief Safety and Security Officer Mike Jones says Homeland Security gave the district a $60,000 grant for security cameras and a $45,000 grant to upgrade the existing control system. Superintendent Bill Husfelt matched those funds with available technology money. That's makes more than $200,000 dollars available for upgrades.
Dozens of cameras sit in boxes at the Emergency Operations Center, but they'll soon be installed in schools across Bay County, which will nearly double the amount of cameras across the district.
With more cameras monitoring the schools, the Command Center will also need some upgrades. More television style monitors will be installed for district employees to keep a watchful eye in more places.
Jones also has a new partner to help with safety prevention and planning in the schools. Wednesday was Bill McCurdy's first day as a new Safety and Security Officer. He said he's looking forward to using the new technology and improving safety plans across the district.
"I'm anxious to do my part in making our schools a safe learning environment, a fear free learning environment, not just for the kids but for the faculty and staff," said McCurdy.
Jones and McCurdy also worked together at the Panama City Police Department. They plan to have the upgrades up and running in the next few months.