CMS announces new security measures for upcoming school year

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools updated parents Wednesday on how they're planning to keep their children safe this upcoming school year. 

A news conference was held Wednesday morning at the Charlotte East Language Academy. Some of the new safety measures will include a crisis alert system button, upgraded video surveillance on campuses, and an expansion of an existing gun detection K-9 program, according to Superintendent Earnest Winston.

New security enhancements:

  • A crisis-alert system that has a beacon light alert and panic cards for all staff
  • Two CMS Police K-9s, trained in narcotic and firearm detection
  • Safety screenings at all high schools, with expansion into middle and K-8 schools
  • Expansion and enhancement of video surveillance (CMS has 7,125 cameras in its schools)
  • Active survival training for all employees (more than 8,000 employees have been trained)
  • Physical improvements, such as upgraded locks, stronger doors and digital access controls for main entries

The crisis-alert system, which was piloted at Charlotte East, has been installed in each CMS high school, officials said. 

Last year, CMS had a number of issues related to weapons found on campus, school threats, and the deadly Butler High School shooting. K-9 Nico will be used this school year on CMS campuses. School officials said he will be making appearances this year as part of the district's new safety measures. 

Related: Teen pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter in Butler High School shooting

K-9 Nico was already put to the test this year during summer school where he detected a gun.