School Security A Top Priority For TPS
These days, schools have to cover reading, writing, arithmetic, and reassurance."The doors are magnetically locked with a big magnetic at the top," said TPS police chief Gary Rudick, giving the ABC' s of security throughout the school district, including keypads and cameras at the door."Someone has to physically release the lock for you to get in," he said.And before you get anywhere near a school, one of 1,800 cameras across the district will most likely catch a glimpse of you."It provides a lot of peace of mind for faculty, staff, and particularly parents," he said.School hasn't even started yet, and already over the weekend the cameras kicked into action."Our video captured along with our alarm system two burglars who got into the McClain High School and because we were able to track that on video while we were watching the alarm trips we're able to tell the officers who were responding where to go, we could see where they're hiding," he said.The cameras also help resolve threats from within. "We are all aware that there are times when we want to know who started the fight, and the video shows that," he said.And heaven forbid there's a shooting, the cameras could lead officers to the assailants. Just recently, the department held their annual school shooting drill."We don't sit around and wait or contain the situation, waiting for backup or waiting for the swat team or whatever, it's, we're obligated to go in and confront the threat and stop someone who is actively hurting people," he said.And more cameras are coming. By the end of the year TPS schools will have roughly 2,600 eyes in the sky."It's not that we're spying on everyone but we do have cameras that area out there looking and if there is an incident that needs some backup we would have a camera that would cover that," said Bob LaBass of TPS.