Security Heightened At East Texas Schools - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Security Heightened At East Texas Schools

In response to a string of shootings in the last week and a half, Texas schools are warned to watch out for copycats. In a letter to all 1200 districts in the state, Education Commissioner Shirley Neeley told administrators to be especially vigilant in the coming days. And already, East Texas school districts are taking extra precautions and stepping up school security.

Tyler ISD has already purchased a state of the art camera system.

"It is close to 80 cameras that are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week exterior as well as interior cameras," says Chief Rex Brown with Tyler ISD Police Department.

Chief Brown took us through the security at Robert E. Lee High School where more than 2500 students attend classes.  

"For every camera that you have, you have another eye watching in the area," says Chief Brown.

Chief Brown says they have installed 80 cameras on the campus and some are in what they call 'problem areas' of the schools.  

"You could turn the camera and monitor the entire court yard zoom in and identify someones face across the court yard," says Chief Brown.

Before installing the cameras, Chief Brown says the school did have other security measures.  

"You have to come through a controlled access that is monitored during a school day. There is one way in and out if you are in a vehicle you go by what we call a guard shack," says Chief Brown.

The campus also has two school reserve officers on campus.  

"They have all right of a peace officer which is the 200 square miles of Tyler ISD," says Chief Brown.

He says the only security system the school doesn't have is metal detectors.  

"We would like to but the design of schools that were building 30-40 years ago the makeup in as such that it would not make it feasible," says Chief Brown.

However, Chief Brown says adding cameras is way to ensure parents, students and staff that safety is their priority.  

"We want them to know that we are doing everything within our means to keep their children safe," says Chief Brown.

The camera system cost about million dollars and will be up and running soon.

If for any reason the school's police department needed assistance on campus. They are able to talk to Tyler Police Department through their radio system.   The camera system is at both high schools, middle schools and the two new elementary schools.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. 

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