Maj. Robert Liberati, commander of the Prince George’s County Police Department’s automated enforcement unit, discusses the county’s new school bus stop-arm camera program.
PALMER PARK, Md. — Twenty school buses in Prince George’s County Public Schools’ fleet will be equipped with cameras to capture evidence of stop-arm running this school year.
The school district partnered with the Prince George’s County Police Department on the new stop-arm camera program, dubbed “Safe Cross,” which officials said aims to protect children and prevent accidents.
Last week, the district and the police department held a press event to announce the program. The event featured a live demonstration with vehicles to show how the cameras work.
A spokesperson for the Prince George’s County Police Department told SBF that each of the school district’s bus lots will have one or two buses equipped with the stop-arm cameras.
“It is up to the discretion of the bus yard manager to decide which route to deploy the buses on,” the police spokesperson said.
At the press event, police and school district officials gave an overview of the stop-arm camera program and explained its importance.
“This allows us the opportunity to safeguard our students who traverse on and off the buses on a daily basis,” said Rex Barrett, head of security for Prince George’s County Public Schools. “In addition, it allows us — with this public information that’s going out right now — to let people know that we’re taking this very seriously and that the violation notices will be issued.”
Barrett added that when the district’s bus drivers were told about the stop-arm camera program during a recent in-service training session, the drivers responded with “nothing but cheers and applause. They were very excited about this program, because they obviously care very deeply for our students, and they don’t want them to be in harm’s way.”
Here’s a video of the press event for the Prince George’s County stop-arm camera program: