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School System Appoints Safety Director

The position was created in response to two gun incidents at Baltimore County public schools earlier this year.

Dale Rauenzahn, a 36-year veteran employee of Baltimore County Public Schools who was recently appointed as the system's executive director of safety and security, has had a busy first few days on the job.

A Deer Park Middle student was arrested after allegedly bringing ammunition to school on Thursday. Baltimore County police said there is no indication he meant to harm anyone at the school.

"We handled it according to our general protocol," Rauenzahn said."It went smoothly."

Rauenzahn's position was created after a shooting at Perry Hall High School and a gun threat at Stemmers Run Middle School at the start of the school year.

Although it's common for those in similar positions to have a law enforcement background, Charles Herndon, a system spokesman, said Rauenzahn's familiarity with education and Baltimore County Public Schools would be an asset. Herndon also noted that Rauenzahn has received national credentials for safety and crisis management work.

Rauenzahn pointed out that in his previous job as the executive director of student services—now held by former assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Roger Plunkett—also involved working with county police.

In his new role, where he would earn an annual salary of $153,158, Rauenzahn would primarily coordinate communications between the school system and the county police, fire and health departments.

In light of the recent gun-related incidents, Rauenzahn said his department would also focus on training staff to identify at-risk students.

"This position is much more dedicated to ensuring student safety," he said.

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