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Feds to evaluate Baltimore schools security

Schools in Baltimore are getting federal help assessing security.

WBAL-TV reports that the shooting deaths last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School are driving a White House initiative to get the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service and the FBI involved in school safety improvements nationwide.

Officials with those agencies are giving presentations to 100 school districts throughout the country, including Baltimore, to provide additional security expertise and advice. They are sharing information about threats schools face and the new strategies on how to respond.

“We now believe that the best course of action is for officers, the first officers to arrive on the scene to actually engage the shooter in order to lessen the damage and the type of loss of life or injury that may occur,” said Jonathan Brice, a Baltimore City Public Schools official.

Experts will evaluate security at five city schools: Dunbar High School, National Academy Foundation and Lakeland Elementary/Middle, Gilmor Elementary and Westside Elementary schools.

“We’re going to compile those trends and gaps into a document, as well as measures to protect against them and we’re going to push that out wide to the education community,” said Brian Ebert, a DHS official.