JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)
Jefferson County officials are rolling out a new security system for schools.
It will get alerts to first responders in a matter of seconds.
911 Director Rob Herrington unveiled the long-awaited Jefferson County School Safety Initative to Commissioners Thursday.
Keeping students and staff safe–that’s Jefferson County’s number one goal.
To do that, officials have been working for years on something to keep all the schools as safe as possible.
Even though programs like Stop the Bleed and ALICE training are great, officials believe there is more that can be done, which starts with the Safer Watch Program.
“This technology would be a game changer because it gets information to the people who need it. It gets information to the team that’s responding. It gets information to the parents that are concerned about their children, and it gets all the information captured in one place.”Sheriff Fred Abdalla Jr. – Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
The SaferWatch App will link administrators, teachers, students, parents, and first responders in one communication network, ensuring a quick response time.
The second part of the program is utilizing the cameras that are already in the schools.
The 911 center can bring up the feed, and get that video the hands of teams on the ground to locate a threat in real time.
“So, the importance of this is that we would be able to give them information to say the shooters on the second floor by this room, or whatever. And that’s all coming from that camera system.”Rob Herrington – Director Jefferson County 911
Herrington says all schools and first responders need to work together to make it happen.
As for the cost, it’s $2,500 for each school for the program. The biggest cost is the one time fee to license each camera. It’s $270 per camera and there are roughly 1,400 across the county.
The 911 center is requesting that the commission fund this part of the project.
“It’s good to see both your departments working on this. What’s more important than keeping our kids safe?”Tony Morelli – Jefferson County Commissioner
The schools can also use this app for non-emergency notifications to communicate with all families and staff at once.
Once this initative is online, Jefferson County will be the first in the state of Ohio to use the Safer Watch program.
Herrington shared it has already been implemented in Uvalde and hopes to have theirs up and running in September.