Walker County Schools enhances school safety

WALKER COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) — Walker County Schools recently installed to technology to enhance safety and improve response times for law enforcement.

On Tuesday morning, at Saddle Riddle Elementary/Middle School a lockdown drill was underway.

Walker County Schools recently used state funds to enhance its Incident Management System. They partnered with South Western Communications.

“We will go into a school, evaluate what they already have in place, there is no need replacing things they already have and take a look at their safety protocol and design the technology to improve what they are already doing,” said Pat Henley, with South Western Communications.

With the improvements they are the first school system in the state to fully integrate dynamic mapping of each school, push button intercom notifications and closed circuit cameras with Walker County’s 911 Center.

Dispatchers are able to access real-time information at the school to officers during an emergency.

“It’s actually a huge safety improvement for first responders, knowing where the threat is just way ahead of the game,” said Major Mike Freeman with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.

School administrators also have the ability to put schools on lockdown.

“We get a contact from law enforcement stating that something is happening in the area. I could lock the building down from my phone immediately,” Superintendent Damon Raines said.

First responders say all of this helps them act quickly.

“It saves us time and seconds matter, especially an event that is in a school,” said Chief Blake Hodge, with Walker County Fire and Rescue.

Walker County Schools received $300, 000 in state funds to help with school safety.

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