Shooting Prompts Florida District To Add Surveillance Tech

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Manatee County, FL school district administrators are considering outfitting district schools with surveillance cameras after a 33 year-old man was shot and killed near one of its schools last month, according to a report in the southwest Florida Herald Tribune.

Manatee County School Board members moved to beef up security at Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary, a school that went into "lockdown" mode more than a month ago after a fatal shooting a few blocks away.

A plan approved by the Manatee County School Board would add nearly three dozen security cameras, as well as fencing to ring the campus of the Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary School, where the nearby shooting occurred. Lighting for before-school and after-school activities was also approved.

Ozell Hayes, safety and security specialist for the school district, told the Tribune the district would "do whatever is necessary to make the school secure."

Older schools like Orange Ridge-Bullock, which opened in 1959, feature open campuses with a multitude of buildings, Hayes said. That design makes it difficult to funnel visitors into the main office during school hours, standard practice today, and has left the school open to unwanted visitors.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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