A Message About Police Body Cameras in Schools
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and the Montgomery County Police Department work together every day to ensure our schools are safe, secure environments for our students to learn. It is in that spirit of collaboration that I am writing to you. Attached is a letter from Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger providing information about a pilot program in which some of the department’s officers are equipped with body-worn cameras. These are cameras that are activated when officers are responding to incidents.
Up to this point, these cameras have not been used in our schools while we worked with the police department to understand the implications around a variety of issues. However, on October 12, 2015, the Montgomery County Police Department will begin using the body-worn cameras when responding to incidents in our schools. At this time, School Resource Officers (SRO) that serve three of our high school clusters—Northwest, Seneca Valley, and Walt Whitman—are among those who are involved in the body-worn camera pilot program. In addition, police officers who visit our schools or respond to incidents on school property may be wearing the cameras.
The body-worn camera pilot is police department initiative. Chief Manger and others have assured me they will monitor the use of the cameras in our schools to ensure compliance with police department policy and procedures. Please read Chief Manger’s letter closely to make sure you understand how these cameras will—and will not—be used in our schools. If you have questions, I encourage you to contact the police department or speak to your school principal.
Larry A. Bowers, Interim Superintendent of Schools