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Brookville police protecting students with new high-tech tools

Brookville police protecting students with new high-tech tools (WKEF/WRGT)

BROOKVILLE, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT)— Parents in Brookville are pressing the school district for answers about the safety of their kids.

The district held a special meeting Monday night, the superintendent said as a direct reaction to the fatal February shooting of 17 people in a Parkland, Florida school.

School district showed parents how they partner with police and fire, and how they’re using high tech and social media tools to be preventative.

“Sadness and hurt, everything, it’s breathtaking,“ said mom Brooke Hemmerich who has a child in the intermediate school and two children in the elementary school.

“Parents are curious, parents are concerned, we have no greater commodity than our children,“ said superintendent Tim Hopkins.

Hopkins breaks it down by the numbers; he says there are 44 doors in school buildings in the district but only three entrances so that staff can ask visitors the important question, who are you here to see?

He also says the district has 92 security cameras, that they’ve upgraded so that police and firefighters can see them live from their cruisers and trucks.

Hopkins also said they have fireproof doors that they can close and lock at the push of a button.

Still, Hemmerick says she wants prevention, on top of proaction.

“Not so much an outsider but one of my children’s peers bringing in something,“ Hemmerick said about her fears, “metal detectors or something, spot checks.”

Hopkins said he has had at least a half a dozen threats in the district in the last year.

To monitor threats at home, they are using something called social sentinel to scan social media posts in the city.

“It sends us alerts as it comes social media 24 seven,“ he said.

Brookville city schools does not have a full-time school resource officer, but Hopkins said they are working to get one. He said educating the community to their plans in case of an incident is a step in the right direction.

“We have a good school system and I’m very proud to say that I’m from Brookville,“ Hemmerick said.

Superintendent Hopkins said the cost to get a full-time school resource officer is between 85 and $100,000. They are trying to figure out where that money will come from but are hoping to have someone in place by fall of 2018.

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