Governor Richardson’s latest and greatest idea on how to spend our tax dollars:
$2 million to buy as many as 4,000 security cameras. Some of the money also will go to buy portable metal detectors that can be shifted from school to school when potential threats arise.
$2.4 million to equip the more than 3,000 school businesses in New Mexico with a global positioning system. The GPS equipment can track the location of a bus, disable it if it’s hijacked, provide two-way communication and video and will include a panic button for drivers to call for emergency help.
Richardson also proposed to establish a crime stoppers program for schools that will offer rewards for people to anonymously report information about crimes in a school.
Education Secretary Veronica Garcia said the crime stoppers program could help prevent violent incidents at schools by providing tips about crimes that are being planned.
If I were the cynical type, I might suggest that a security camera and GPS vendor could probably be found among Governor Richardson’s donors. But I digress. The Governor is making these decisions to tighten security at our schools while this is happening at our juvenile detention centers (subscription):
Dodson also said officials hope to reduce the population of YDDC. But she said the state will not open a separate jail for violent offenders.
Stansbury said the inability to separate violent offenders from general jail populations is creating serious problems.
“The public doesn’t know how many people are getting assaulted and sexually harassed at [Youth Diagnostic and Development Center] YDDC every day,” Stansbury said. “You feel afraid all the time. You just have to pray that backup will get there before you really get hurt.”
Last month, a 15-year-old was allegedly raped by three teens on his first night at YDDC.
Where would you spend millions in additional security?