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Montgomery Co. schools could get new safety features

Wednesday - 7/10/2013, 11:42am  ET

WASHINGTON - Montgomery County's public schools may get some added security features if the county's council approves a plan to fund the additions.

Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin says the discussion of what should be done had to strike a balance between security and a welcoming school environment.

"These are school buildings, not prisons," said Ervin, who added the Montgomery County Public Schools district is already ahead of the curve with security measures.

MCPS, along with schools around the United States, are reassessing their security features after an active shooter opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., leading to the deaths of 20 children and six adults.

Ervin said the council is considering funding the county school's plan that would include installing hallway cameras in 132 elementary schools. Also, the plan would include the addition of exterior cameras to many schools and the installation of access control systems, which would "buzz" visitors into the school.

The council will decide if it will match state funds of $4.1 million to go toward the security measures.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @kateryanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.