Buncombe Co. Schools, sheriff’s office protecting students through technology

Local News

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Tracking threats in your child’s school and tackling them quicker than ever before. That’s what both law enforcement and school leaders in Buncombe County are working on now, using technology.

It’s a typical Friday at Clyde A. Erwin High School in Buncombe County. Students walking to class, nestled safely inside the walls of the school.

The Buncombe County Sheriff along with school leaders, want it to stay that way. They’re using technology along with the cameras sprinkled in every school in the district, to help.

“What it helps us do is we actually can see what happened, we can now react to that threat and go right to that threat, while we keep our students safe,” said Sheriff Quentin Miller.

Sheriff Miller said screens they have displayed on the walls in their office have real time access to those cameras, allowing them to have eyes inside the school.

Miller said it helps not only responding deputies, but also emergency crews and knowing where the safest place is to evacuate the students.

He told us, it allows them to be more efficient, stop any threat and do it quicker than before.

“It gives the schools peace of mind, it gives the parents peace of mind because the information will be available to us quicker,” said Buncombe County Schools Assistant Superintendent Joseph Hough.

The schools already had the cameras but now, the sheriff’s office can instantly tap into them when a threat or emergency arises.

“Say in this camera here, we have a suspect, we’re able to do a screen grab of the suspect. We can now send this out to all responding officers,” Sgt. Bryan Freeborn said with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Freeborn said that technology goes beyond the screens in the sheriff’s office and also, to their phones.

“Say I’m in the school, I clip this to my belt so now I am able to walk through the school and the deputies can see real life, what is happening around me,” Sgt. Freeborn explained.

The hope behind it all is safety and one less thing to worry about when your child goes off to school.

“We hope you’re here to get your education, not worry about if you’re going to survive going to school today,” Sheriff Miller said.

Both the sheriff and assistant superintendent said this is just the start of much more to come.

School leaders said they’re going to keep adding cameras throughout their schools to make this all even more efficient.

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