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School Security Upgrades

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It has been a busy summer for Roy Murry. He is the Director of Security for Caddo Parish Schools.

"We've completed all the camera jobs over the summer at all Caddo Parish Schools ," said Murry.

 On the day we met up with him, he was reviewing the upgrades done at Southwood High School.

"At one time Southwood only had 32 cameras, now there are more than 100 cameras on the campus," Murry told Education Reporter Eric James. Murry says the  cameras enable them to see more areas around the campus where they don't have personnel watching.

"Our next focus will be access control," said Murry.

 

It was following the Newtown shooting, when KTBS  tested the strength  of Caddo Parish's school security plan.

The only issue our "In-Depth Report"  revealed was students opening doors for those they don't know.

Murry says since our report the district is now  taking steps to better control access.

"We use access control systems in some of our  7th -12th grade campus to separate our middle schools from our high schools." Murry says the systems would allow them to basically put an entire school on lockdown from a report location and access to buildings would be controlled using an access card.

"Let's say a teacher is out at recess, instead of propping a door open to get back in,  the door can stay locked and the teacher will have an access card that will let them in," said Murry.

 

A web portal has been established that gives all school resource officers, or SRO's, as well as police and fire, the ability to tap into any camera system on any campus at a moment's notice, from almost any computer.

 

"The camera systems are set up in their office, so when they have office time they can pull up the system in their office.  A security officer can sit at her desk and can see who is coming and going. It also lets us watch certain areas where there may be a problem and then we can  actually put personnel in those areas."

 

A tremendous amount of time has also been spent on SRO training,  from dealing with bullying,  to how to  deal with a difficult child or an angry parent.

"The biggest thing I want my SRO's to understand is the expectation that the public has of us. Can we guarantee the safety of every child at every moment of the day? No, but that is the expectation the public has of us and we need to strive to get to that point."

 

When it comes to the things parents can do,  Murry says there are several questions every parent should  ask of their school.

 

"If I  were a parent , I would want to know is there a crisis response plan?  Has it been updated?  Has that plan been tested?  Is there an SRO  on campus? If not is there security personnel on campus? I would also  want to know about the camera system and I  want to know about the access control."

Bossier School officials have also spent great deal of time training their SRO's over the summer as well.

Currently they have an SRO at every middle school and high school  and officers   rotate among elementary schools.

This past spring Bossier residents approved a tax measure that will allow the board to place a permanent SRO  at every Bossier Parish School next school year.

All officers are and will be trained Bossier Parish sheriff deputies.

 

 

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