CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Mecklenburg County Commissioners approved releasing an additional $4.6 million for security enhancements at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

CMS superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox proposed a more than $9 million plan earlier this year and CMS had already received half of that money. The funding granted by county leaders Tuesday will allow CMS to implement "Phase I" of its safety enhancements, which include better cameras, stronger fencing and additional locks on exterior doors.

In April, CMS requested $5 million for more counselors, psychologists and police officers on campuses. Here's how the 2018-2019 breaks down:

  • CMS requested more than $9 million for safety equipment. This includes hardening doors, adding fencing and locks and expanding surveillance.
  • CMS requested $4 million for student support. This includes 33 elementary school counselors, 17 social workers and 10 school psychologists.
  • CMS requested more than $600,000 to hire five police officers and two locksmiths. This money would also go toward active shooter training courses.

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During his request, Wilcox said the cameras CMS wants to install would monitor classrooms and not just common spaces in schools.

"One of the things we absolutely want to do is put in a new type of hybrid camera system that will allow actually our classrooms, not just our common spaces, to be monitored in the event of a serious situation in our schools," Wilcox said.

As for the existing cameras, which are analog, Wilcox wants to replace those with new digital technology. He also wants to add fences to some schools in the district.

The approval comes at a crucial time for school security in North Carolina. Gov. Roy Cooper's crime commission is scheduled to discuss school safety in Raleigh Thursday.

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