DCSS talks safety measures for first day back to school
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County Schools start back on Aug. 15, and safety is one of their top priorities.
This year, they’re making a few new additions in terms of safety.
Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said they won’t be adding any more school resource officers, but they are looking to hire an intelligence officer.
“To introduce more monitoring of our social media and other intelligence gathering services and have that person dedicated just to that,” said Dyer.
This person would monitor any red flags on social media.
Dougherty County School System Police Department Chief Troy Conley said parents can do this too.
“It goes back to if you see something, say something. Monitor children and have conversations with them. Find out if there’s an issue going on at school, we need to know about prior to it being posted on social media,” said Conley.
Dyer said this year, they’re also updating many of their cameras.
“From the analog cameras to high-def cameras with facial recognition and gunshot detection in interior and exterior parts of the buildings,” said Dyer.
These cameras help with schools’ safety storefronts which helps staff monitor who’s coming into schools.
“They have an opportunity to scan that individual to identify an individual. If they do say something suspicious out of the ordinary then they can notify us and the individual is still outside the building,” said Conley.
Conley said the main situation they trained for over the summer was an active shooter.
“We wanted to familiarize all of the officers or school police to be familiar with every location they serve,” said Conley.
With 21 school resource officers and about 50 properties to regulate, he said something like the crisis alert system is helpful.
″You can never have too many sets of eyes whomever it may be that’s employed may come across the threat prior to anybody else seeing it, so it gives everybody the opportunity, working as a team,” said Conley.
And since time is of the essence. The earlier they’re notified of a threat, the sooner they can stop it.
Conley said there’s no perfect plan, but he does think they have the resources they need to keep a safe environment. He has one message for parents as they send their kids back to school.
“Check their book bags and make sure you’re aware of what they’re bringing to school,” said Conley.
If you have any concerns you’d like to report, call the school police department at (229) 431-1812.
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