HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico County Board of Supervisors has introduced a resolution to amend the annual fiscal plan for the 2022-23 school year, which includes funding for security camera upgrades within Henrico schools.
The resolution was introduced during the county’s board meeting on Tuesday, July 26. The county is proposing $5,415,000 for security system upgrades.
According to Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS), the school budget was approved by the county at the end of May. The school system’s security system is something that has always been in place, but it will be improved with the new funding.
The money is coming from the state, after it approved $400 million dollars for school construction funding to be distributed statewide.
Dr. Amy Cashwell, the Superintendent for Henrico County Public Schools, told 8News that the funds from the state will enhance camera coverage inside and outside all schools.
“Each year I’ve been really proud of the way our school board has prioritized funding to make sure we’re continuing to focus on safety and wellness,” Cashwell said.
Henrico County received $12 million, which is being applied to three separate projects — Jackson Davis Elementary School replacement, R. C. Longan Elementary replacement, and construction planning for the Environmental Education Living Center building. Citizens will be able to vote on each of these projects in the fall.
With state budget revenues coming in higher than anticipated for school construction, the school system was able to use $5.4 million to upgrade security.
“The Board of Supervisors has and continues to prioritize the safety of our students and HCPS staff, and this budget amendment is just one example,” Cari Tretina, Henrico County Chief of Staff, said. “We support HCPS in their efforts to secure our facilities to the greatest extent with the most advanced technology before next school year. The County Manager and Superintendent are fully engaged on this topic and constantly evaluating proactive security measures for our schools. Stayed tuned because we won’t stop to keep our kids and teachers safe.”
All security upgrades and changes will be implemented this upcoming school year.
In the meantime, Henrico Police said the County Manager made a request for ten additional school resource officer (SRO) positions. The positions are being relocated from other county departments and will provide relief for SROs who are training or off duty. Currently, there is at least one SRO assigned at every middle and high school within HCPS.
Additionally, HCPS parents can expect to receive a weekly report of their child’s online activity on their school-issued device.
These changes will be further discussed at a public hearing planned for Aug. 9 at the Henrico County Board of Supervisors meeting.