AUSTIN (KXAN) — Campuses throughout Austin ISD received a collective $14 million in security upgrades over the summer.
The money comes from a more than $1 billion bond voters passed in 2017. Of that money, $6 million was spent upgrading security cameras.
The money is also going to create a secure, single point of entry at all campuses — that includes an intercom and security cameras outside a locked door.
Visitors are asked to identify themselves and their reason for being on campus before being allowed inside.
“We want to make sure that we know who’s coming in our buildings,” said Austin ISD Police Chief Ashley Gonzalez. “We want to make sure that whoever is in the building is here for the right reason.”
There are now roughly 3,300 cameras spread out over 130 campuses. The funding is also going to pay for upgraded fire suppression systems and silent alarms.
Given the growing number of high profile mass shootings, Gonzalez views campus security as vital and constantly evolving.
“We always ask ourselves, if that was to happen within our district, how would we respond, can we handle that situation and so we’re always learning and we’re always improving,” Gonzalez said.
AISD police added six new officers including one dedicated to mental health issues last year. The district also updated its Raptor system that checks visitors in and out of schools.