Preparations for Active Shooter Situation in Valley Schools

3 years 8 months 4 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 February 15, 2018 10:29 PM February 15, 2018 in News

BROWNSVILLE – Rio Grande Valley school districts are responding to the school shooting that happened at a Florida high school Wednesday.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS wanted to learn about what one Valley school district police department is using to give them extra eyes on their campuses.

Jacob Castro is a proud father of four beautiful daughters. He tells us two of his girls attend schools in the Brownsville Independent School District. Castro said Wednesday’s deadly school shooting reignited his greatest fear.

“Nowadays, it’s like every time you take them to school you're always thinking of what’s going to happen? If it’s safe to drop them at school,” Castro said.

We headed to Brownsville ISD Police Department to discover how prepared the department is for a school shooter scenario. Police chief Oscar Garcia explained his department has a tool that allows his officers to have quicker response times in emergency situations.

That tool is “CCTV, the closed circuit television program, surveillance. It’s a surveillance program district-wide,” Garcia told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Garcia explained the program allows his department to monitor all 52 campuses plus facilities in the school district. He said officers monitor the 2,800 cameras 24 hours a day.

He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS having that bird’s eye view is priceless in an emergency situation.

“It creates a safer net. It allows the dispatcher to communicate with the officer that is dispatched to that location,” Garcia said.

Garcia explained the program also helps prevent officers from walking into potentially deadly situations blind.

“We also carry the capability of using that technology into our patrol units where the police officers can actually monitor in that system before they even leave their unit. Making it safer for that officer, and of course the whole school,” Garcia told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Garcia explained his department is continuing to add cameras throughout the ISD to better protect students and staff.

Castro said he hopes horrific events like what occurred in Parkland never reach the Valley.

Garcia said beginning next week he and several other members of his department will have access to the CCTV program on their smartphones. He explained that will allow them to access the program from anywhere in the country.

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