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Edison Enhances Safety with Grant, Metal Detector

The Edison Local School District is enhancing safety at its facilities with metal detectors at its high school and a grant to stay connected to first responders during emergencies.

    A metal detector and wands were added at Edison High School in mid-March and used to ensure students and staff can work in a secure environment.

   “The reason we got it was because we had security concerns and wanted to add another layer of protection,” said Superintendent Bill Beattie. “As we see how the metal detector and wands work, there could be the potential to purchase more.”

    The detector and wands are used on a daily rotation for individual buses and at the main entrance near the cafeteria and in the gym. Beattie said a recent incident with a student bringing weapons to school was only one part of the district’s decision to add the equipment, but the overall purpose was to maintain safety.

   “It’s also a deterrent to bringing objects to school that students shouldn’t have,” he added. “We implemented a book bag policy on Feb. 20 where we eliminated them during the day and then we implemented the use of the metal detectors.”

   “It’s a precautionary measure,” added EHS Principal Matt Morrison. “They are randomly checking students to make sure we feel safe.”

   In addition, Edison is one of the schools involved in the Jefferson County 911’s SaferWatch program in the 911 center can access school cameras and locate an intruder, and it even provides an app that teachers can download with a panic button for fires or other emergencies.

   “We’re going to a new emergency management system and also implemented Raptor Technologies software for visitor’s badges, which has the ability to identify people who shouldn’t be there as well as identify those who are sexual offenders,” Beattie said.

    Meanwhile, the district also received a $30,000 allocation through the Ohio Attorney General’s School Law Enforcement Linking Technology Safety Grant, which will add another level of security at Edison’s schools. Jefferson County 911 Director Rob Herrington assisted with the grant and said it will add more cameras to the school for better aid.

   It helps provide real-time intelligence to responders that is critical when rendering aid and, with the press of a button, officials can get an accurate pinpoint of where the emergency is. Safety forces have maps of all the schools and coordinates of cameras in the buildings, while the cameras will only record during actual emergencies. Herrington said the Linking Technology funds will add more equipment to benefit the program.

    “The grant will allow the purchase of up to 10 additional security cameras for the school as well as the purchase of an analytics server to be placed at the school,” Herrington said. “The analytics server allows us to make some of the cameras ‘intelligent.’ An example would be that a camera that is pointed towards a door which leads outside the building could be set to alarm if that door is open more than a predetermined time, or it might be that a camera would ‘detect’ vehicles or people in an area that they should not be. Since no one is looking at every camera at all times, this allows the cameras to collect information and then alert someone that some predetermined event is happening.”

     Herrington anticipated the equipment to be onsite over the next few months and it will provide a higher level of security for certain threats, such as if a door is left open.

    Beattie said it was just another way to ensure Edison’s staff and students remained safe.

   “That safety grant came out and part of Rob Herrington’s vision was to get all of the cameras in every building linked to 911,” Beattie added. “Through the addition of the SaferWatch app, linking the cameras was another part of it.”

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