CMS to receive $9 million for security upgrades

In a unanimous vote, Mecklenburg County commissioners approved millions of dollars in security upgrades to neighborhood schools.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools plans to spend $9 million on security upgrades at each of the district's 175 schools.

Commissioners approved the multi-million dollar plan, which includes adding more surveillance cameras outside and electronic locks at all schools.

"I think it's well needed I'm glad to hear it," said Margaret McAlister, a CMS parent. "It makes me feel safer that my child is here because it's been questionable."

Crisis alert card alarms will be installed at 20 high schools. Extra fencing has already been added around three schools.

"The blind spots are often what our students know about, " said Lauren Simmons, a former teacher at West Mecklenburg High. "When a student knows that there is surveillance, they are more likely to follow the rules, I hate to say it that way or acquiesce to what the school is trying to do."

CMS is in the first phase of its security upgrades. Once the district receives the remainder of the funds, officials say they will enhance security at even more schools. Part of the plan is to upgrade gates and access points.