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

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – Track threats in your child’s school and address them faster than ever. This is something that both law enforcement and school principals in Buncombe County are currently working on using technology.

It’s a typical Friday at Clyde A. Erwin High School in Buncombe County. Students attending class are safely housed within the walls of the school.

The Buncombe County Sheriff and the Headmasters want it to stay that way. They are using technology along with the cameras distributed in every school in the district to help.

“What helps us with this is that we can actually see what happened, we can now respond to this threat and respond to that threat immediately while protecting our students,” said Sheriff Quentin Miller.

Sheriff Miller said screens they put on the walls in their office have real-time access to these cameras so they can keep an eye on the school.

Miller said it helps not only substitutes but also emergency teams to respond and know where it is safest to evacuate students.

He told us that it enables them to be more efficient, stop any threat and do it faster than before.

“It makes schools safe, it makes parents safe because we get information faster,” said Joseph Hough, assistant principal for Buncombe County.

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

“Say on this camera we have a suspect, we can take a screenshot of the suspect. We can now send this to all responding officers, ”Sgt. Bryan Freeborn said with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Freeborn said the technology goes beyond the screens in the sheriff’s office and their phones as well.

“Assuming I’m in school, I’ll put this on my belt so I can go through school now and the proxies can see the real life that’s going on around me,” said Sgt. Freeborn explained.

The hope behind this is safety and one less worry when your child goes to school.

“We hope you’re here to get your education and not worry about getting through school today,” said Sheriff Miller.

Both the sheriff and the assistant superintendent said this was just the beginning of much more.

The school principals said they will continue to install cameras in their schools to make all of this even more efficient.