Schools investing heavily in security improvements - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Schools investing heavily in security improvements

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Improvements in technology and manpower are priority in many schools. Improvements in technology and manpower are priority in many schools.

Close calls in Memphis and Georgia have Tennessee Valley school districts on their toes. Many held active shooter drills, added school resource officers, or made safety improvements around campuses over the summer.

SRO's and security cameras have been in place at Madison City Schools for some time now, but this year they have taken extra steps. One step in particular is the installation of a new door that separates the front office from the rest of the school. You must be buzzed in, or in the case of an employee, swipe your badge.

On top of that measure, all teachers began locking their classroom doors. Safety Coordinator for Madison City Schools Dennis James said the improvements are added lines of defense for students and teachers. "Providing safety and security in the school is all about layers, and you want multiple layers. This is another layer for us," James said.

School officials also said a tip line called Text to Protect improved safety by giving students a quick option to report anything suspicious. James said the presence of SRO's makes a difference as well, and new safety drills keep students and staff on their toes.

"The police department is now in the process of going school by school, conducting another one with their help and assistance," said James. "They're kind of grading us to see how we are doing and making sure what we're doing is current."

Schools in Madison, Morgan, and other counties in the Valley have participated in active shooter drills to prep for school. Decatur recently spent $50,000 to update their lockdown procedures and add extra camera coverage.

A small price to pay in the giant task of protecting students.

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