VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Smile, you’re on camera! That goes for visitors to any of the 86 buildings throughout the Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
Many schools are outfitted with the new buzzer and camera systems, but installation will continue through the end of September.
The price tag: $282,000.
“From an infrastructure standpoint, I think we are investing in ways to make it harder to get into our buildings,” said Dr. Aaron Spence, superintendent. “No parent should ever have to worry about what’s going to happen to their child when they come to school. We will do everything we can to minimize the risk.”
All school doors will be locked and visitors will be required to buzz in at the front entrance, state their name and tell the security assistant and/or office staff the reason for their visit, according to district officials.
A security assistant will complete the check-in process inside the school, which includes reviewing identification cards and scanning them through a system to check for any sex offenses.
The buzzer technology is the first safety measure implemented as part of $1.5 million dedicated to security improvements this year.
Dr. Spence says the district is also looking to revamp the security assistant program to see if the employees manning the front doors of school buildings have proper training, skills and education.
Dr. Spence adds that all school routinely participate in active shooter drills to be prepared in the event an intruder makes it beyond the locked doors and security staff.
Jackie Goff, who moved to Virginia Beach for safer schools, says the added safety measures make her feel better sending her third grade son to Corporate Landing Elementary School.
“You hear about all the school shootings. Most places they just have open doors. The school he is coming from had open doors,” said Goff. “This is the only place I really can’t protect him, so it’s great to know someone is taking care of my kids.”