Marietta schools ask for added security after 2 gun incidents at metro area schools in 2 days
by Lindsay Field
August 22, 2013 02:34 PM | 5106 views | 3 3 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta City Schools has asked for help from the city police department to beef up security in the wake of two gun-related incidents at metro Atlanta schools.

The request from Marietta City Schools came following an incident on Tuesday in DeKalb County where a gunman snuck into a school carrying several weapons, and on Wednesday morning, another man was arrested at a charter school in Canton with knives and BB gun.

Officer David Baldwin with Marietta Police said because of those arrests, the department’s officers are now heavily patrolling the areas around Marietta’s eight elementary and two middle schools and one high school at the start of the school day and during afternoon dismissals.

“We are taking every precaution we can and have been working hand in hand with the schools, talking to their upper management about both of those incidents,” Baldwin said.

Marietta Police provides trained officers to the city school district for its campus policing.

Marietta High School has two officers that work on site during the school day, in addition to one each at Marietta Middle and the Marietta Sixth Grade Academy.

If anything were to happen at the elementary schools, Baldwin said whoever is closer to the site — patrolling or resource officers — would respond first.

There are also panic alarms at all schools, which alerts local police to respond in case of an emergency and buzz-in systems at every elementary school.

A buzz-in system requires school visitors to press a button at the main entrance of a school in order to enter after school has started.

“Our biggest concern is the students and faculty members but to also ease the concerns of the parents, so that they know we are proactive,” Baldwin said.

Cobb Schools urge ‘vigilance’

Cobb Schools, which employs its own public safety department and 38 officers, has not done anything in addition to what’s already in place, but Public Safety Director Ron Storey does want to remind students, staff and members of the public visiting the schools that if they see anything out of the ordinary at a school, to make sure they contact police.

“We remind you to be vigilant … aware of your surroundings,” Storey said Wednesday afternoon. “If things just don’t look right, you need to be checking into it. Just don’t assume that somebody else is going to do something about it or that there’s nothing to it.”

In addition to officers at all 16 high schools and one in many of the middle school clusters, Cobb also has security cameras in all schools, buzz-in systems like in Marietta City Schools and keyless entry to outside doors.

$1.5 million spent recently on new security

The district’s deputy superintendent of operational support, Chris Ragsdale, said his staff just completed installing buzz-in systems at all 67 elementary schools and has started installing the same program at its 25 middle schools. The Cobb School Board approved the $900,000 security measure in February.

Buzz-in systems were not installed at high schools because there are more class changes during the day unlike in elementary and middle schools, Storey said.

The board also approved another security measure in late July when it OKed the purchase of 17 marked police cars at a ticket price of $530,000 for campus officers.

Storey has said this would help his officers respond more quickly to incidents on all of Cobb’s 112 school campuses.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
but wait theres more
August 22, 2013
After their post Sandy Hook commentary waiting period expired, the NRA said "more guns are the answer" and everyone ran out and bought more guns.

Two questions:

First, why is a post shooting waiting period prior the NRA issuing comments on the topic the only waiting period the NRA deems to be acceptable? Clearly they understand that waiting periods can be good. The NRA always waits after any firearm related killing spree ("tragedy" being the NRA approved word for a killing spree, but this message is not approved by the NRA) to run their mouths about how wonderfu guns are, but the NRA insists nobody can wait to buy a firearm?

Second, people ran out and bought more guns and bought and keep buying all the ammunition they can get their hands on. So how did this happen again? The NRA said "everybody go buy more guns and we will all be safer for it." Guns were manufactured and sold as fast as humanly possible. The supply of ammo can't keep up with the demand. And yet, here we are again with another alleged nut job allegedly shooting up another alleged elementary school (but possibly more of a baby sitting situation being a government school and all)

So we all bought more guns, but like Ronnie always says, "there you go again." Looks like Reagan was correct while the NRA gets wronger every day.

YES, wronger is word. Despite it being clearly incorrect I will use the NRA tactic of insisting it is correct. "Wronger" therefore is correct!

Wronger is correct.

Wronger is correct.

Wronger IS correct.

Wronger is CORRECT.

Buy more guns. If you do, we will all be safer.
August 23, 2013

We need more guns on school property not less. Far past time to arm responsible teachers, administrators and custodians. Cops are an expensive solution but who knows the schools better than those who work there? At the very least there should be firearms kept locked up in the office for use in any emergency.
911 what?
August 23, 2013
Not sure what "wait there is more" has anything to do with panic alarms in schools.

However, the principal stated "the alarms bypass 911 and go straight to the police dept" should do her research - incorrect statement. Majority of all calls for service go through the 911 communications center - emergency or non-emergency lines

And most citizens would be amazed what fellow citizens consider an EMERGENCY
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides