Elizabethtown Independent Schools invests thousands in school security

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Last March, several officers shot 51-year-old Jesse Kilgus in a van that sat outside John Hardin High School.

Police say not only did Kilgus raise a gun in a threatening manner, but he killed his wife right before showing up to the school to check his child out of class. School leaders at neighboring Elizabethtown Independent Schools watched it all unfold. They had been thinking about school security upgrades before the incident.

"This probably pushed it along," Superintendent Jon Ballard said.

This week, the school board voted to spend more than $35,000 on new surveillance cameras.

"It's kind of an addition and a bit of an upgrade to the system that we already have," Ballard said.

Every school in the district will now have some. Monitoring will also be a lot easier.

"It also provides us the opportunity to have a centralized location to view all cameras," Ballard said.

Elizabethtown High School already has its share of security cameras, but principal Jennifer Burnham is already eager for more.

"This would be an area here that we would want to have some additional surveillance and some security," she said about the school's front entrance.

The cameras aren't the only upgrade. Two elementary schools and one middle school are getting added security at the front door.

"Each school will have a buzz-in type system," Ballard said. "Seconds matters in the event that something happens, and we want to be prepared."

School leaders are feeling confident they are.

The security upgrades are expected to be in place by the end of the first semester of this upcoming school year.

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