For those districts without police officers, 2.5 percent reported that they use former cops or military members for security, 4.3 percent hired off-duty police officers, and 10 percent relied on school staff.
A request for documents to determine which schools allow armed staff was denied by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, citing an exemption to the state’s open records law.
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Among schools that don’t have police resource officers, 84 percent say they have no armed personnel in their buildings.
Security upgrades can be costly. For example, adding security cameras, electronic locks and card readers and other equipment to control access to a 180,000-square-foot K-8 grade building would run about $593,000, according to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. Adding safety film to windows runs $13 per square foot while adding ballistic resistant glazing costs $315 per square foot.
Data is lacking about which security systems are most effective, the survey said. Also, the state does not have a clearinghouse to collect and share info on which systems are in use across Ohio.
The report, required by legislation adopted last year, was supposed to examine what security measures schools have, what upgrades are available, what steps are the most cost-effective, how many buildings have school resource officers and the number of buildings using other people to provide security.