VIRGINIA BEACH — The School Board of the City of Virginia Beach passed a resolution at its Oct. 9 meeting to use more than $1 million in reversion funds to support recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Panel on School Safety and Security.
These funds will go to bolster security infrastructure around Virginia Beach City Public Schools, including adding more cameras, expanding access control for staff in buildings, moving security desks closer to school entrances to check in guests as well as increasing external fencing to some school campuses.
“When the Blue Ribbon Panel was commissioned this spring, we took an earnest look at our security offerings and asked for ways we could improve them,” said Aaron Spence, VBCPS superintendent. “This is yet another step in us continuing that commitment to our community and honoring the expertise and feedback we received from these security professionals.”
This resolution is the latest addition to VBCPS’ security enhancements.
Last month a new buzz-in system for all 86 of the division’s schools and centers was installed, according to a news release from VBCPS.
Earlier this spring, the division committed to implementing this new system and shared a timeline of completion for December.
With this new buzz-in system in place, guests and visitors to any school need to use a video intercom system at the main entrance to request entry to the building.
All visitors press a buzzer to connect with the school’s security staff who can see, hear and speak to individuals requesting entry.
Additionally, last week, VBCPS was awarded $91,661 by Gov. Ralph Northam in School Security Equipment grants.
With this grant, VBCPS will augment existing equipment at Bayside 6th Grade Campus, Bayside Middle, Birdneck Elementary, Christopher Farms Elementary, First Colonial High, Independence Middle, Larkspur Middle, Lynnhaven Middle, Plaza Middle, Salem Middle and Virginia Beach Middle.
Some of the equipment includes closed circuit cameras, two-way radios, electronic door locks and scanners for the visitor management system.
Throughout the year, administration will continue to develop, implement and expand the use of new and existing resources where appropriate to meet the Blue Ribbon Panel’s recommendations.
For information on VBCPS’ ongoing security practices, visit vbschools.com.