Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 20, 2013

It makes sense

Governor wants funds to improve school safety

The issue of what to do about preventing the shootings and mass murders in places like Newtown, Conn., is one that has been around for some time and is not likely to go away.

It is another reminder that the American people are capable of adopting cultural mindsets and philosophies that probably will never be reconciled with a result that satisfies of all the parties who are involved.

The arguments raised by these parties involve high emotion as well as logic and reason, and the matter of what could be referred to as “gun control vs. criminal control” is no different.

The question boils down to this: How do we safeguard the rights of the vast majority of the American people who are law-abiding and nonviolent in nature while protecting society from those who are predators and seemingly without conscience or regard for other human life?

We do not always agree with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, but sometimes we do, and we like a part of his proposed budget for FY 2014.

It would dedicate $25 million of the state’s proposed school construction funds to making our schools safer.That includes strengthening school security with camera at entrances, automatically locking doors, shatterproof glass, and buzzer entrance systems among other enhancements.

It would establish a Maryland Center for School Safety and help further a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement partners to ensure a comprehensive approach to school safety.

Technology already exists, and is in use, that restricts access to schools or other public buildings, allows surveillance of those who enter and — when necessary — provides an immediate way to isolate suspicious intruders and lock down other parts of the building while alerting both the police and the building’s occupants.

The governor’s plan would help school officials identify gaps in their emergency planning and preparedness and the training that school personnel might someday be called upon to use.

This is a good idea that should appeal to everyone. It would be $25 million well-spent.

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