School security still a community matter
So, I had a chance to sit down with Bob Hellmuth, the director of the department of school safety and security for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. This guy has quite the job. He's in charge of ensuring that the county's 200 schools are protected and its 21,000 employees and 138,000 students are kept safe. I asked him about the biggest challenges he faces, which of course involved technology (we were at TechSec after all, so technology was on the minds of all in attendance) and funding issues, but the point I found most interesting and perhaps often overlooked was the challenge of working with the community. He said about half of parents and community members want to see more security in schools and think schools aren't doing enough to protect their children, while the other half doesn't understand why the school has to video tape their children. Hellmuth said trying to communicate with the public about his security program is a balancing act between addressing the security needs of the school system and the concerns of the community. Look for a video interview with Bob on sdnTVnews as well as a more comprehensive article in our newswire and April edition.