Hillsborough County schools consider security upgrade

TAMPA -  

The Hillsborough County School Board met with a nationally recognized security expert about how to make individual schools safer in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.  The three-hour meeting revealed information that board members have heard before:  Security isn't cheap.

Michael Dorn, whose group was paid $8,500 to prepare a security report, suggested the school district hire an armed officer for every school in the district, plus some extra officers who can be called in when other officers call in sick.

"We suggest they actually expand upon what's been proposed," Dorn said.

The original plan, proposed by district superintended MaryEllen Elia in January, recommended hiring about 130 security officers.  Dorn's proposal calls for about 140.

Funding for such a plan would be at least $4 million dollars, which concerned some board members.  Dorothy Edgecombe said she liked the concept of more security, but was doubtful the money could be raised by the district itself.

"I hope that the federal government and the state government will find some moneys to supplement the things that we need," Edgecombe said.

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