Henrico Schools seek $5 million to upgrade school security

Funds will go towards upgrading security cameras.
During Tuesday night’s Henrico Board of Supervisors meeting, county leaders revealed they’re seeking $5 million of capital funds to ensure students’ safety for
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 5:59 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - During Tuesday night’s Henrico Board of Supervisors meeting, county leaders revealed they’re seeking $5 million of capital funds to ensure students’ safety for the upcoming school year.

The money is available from an allocation of $12,000,000 of construction funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia, which will be used towards the planning for the Environmental Education Center Living Building and the replacement of Jackson-Davis Elementary School and Longan Elementary School.

These projects were funded in the FY 2022-23 Capital Budget with a fund balance. The utilization of the State Construction funding will return $6,585,000 to the General Fund Balance.

“We want to make sure we’re doing everything possible to make sure that we’re keeping our students safe,” Superintendent Amy Cashwell said.

She says these plans have been in the works before recent school shootings like in Uvalde, Texas. Cashwell says there’s a greater urgency to help prevent tragedies like Uvalde from happening here at home.

Cashwell says $5,415,000 will go towards updating security cameras.

“Security cameras have always been a part of our safety plan. But as they age out or replacements are necessary, we’re careful to make sure we’re upgrading along the way, so we have the best systems in place and that we’re getting comprehensive coverage both inside and outside our facilities,” Cashwell said.

County leaders are also requesting ten additional security resource officers to provide relief for those who are in training or are absent. The school division currently has 28 SROs throughout the division.

Henrico Police say security resource officers must attend a 40-hour training program sponsored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

“You’re not just calling any officer off the street. Our SROs have special training to work in schools in partnership with our school administrators and teams,” Cashwell said.

The Henrico Police Division does not hire security resource officers, but any sworn-in officer can request to transfer to that position.

“One of the benefits of having SROs on our campuses are the relationships they begin to foster both with the students and school community. Oftentimes, they are a trusted adult on campus for individuals, students or staff,” Cashwell said.

Henrico schools are also looking to enhance their web filtering program with a new feature. This system monitors students’ online activity only on their school-issued laptops. This does not include personal devices.

“The new component allows parents to receive a weekly report on student’s online activity on their Henrico student-issued device,” Cashwell said.

It’s important to note that web filtering and adding officers do not increase the request for funds. Families can voice their thoughts at a public hearing scheduled for Aug. 9. The board will vote on the plan the same night.

“We want to be responsive to any concerns that are out there,” Cashwell said.

The first day of classes for Henrico students is set for Aug. 29.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.