Bay PD making school safety a major focus - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Bay PD making school safety a major focus

BAY, AR (KAIT) - For a parent, when you send your children off to school, it's important for you to know they are safe. Officials with the Bay Police Department are using several different avenues to ensure the kids in the Bay School District are in good hands.

"This recent school shooting in Ohio, Monday I think it was, reflects on why we do what we do here," said Bay Police Chief David Kelly.

From punch code entry to surveillance cameras and random timed lock down drills. "We can lock the whole school down in 37 seconds and that's the entire student and faculty," said Kelly, who says that over 900 students.

Five years ago the department and Bay School District implemented an emergency plan and crisis team to ensure the safety of the students and faculty. A new addition to the list...smartphone technology.

"We have eyes inside the school without actually having to be in there," said Kelly.

High School Principal Jodi Cobb recently discovered an app that allows police and faculty to access the security cameras on campus from their smartphone. "I was looking at some the utility apps that they had. It was just by chance I stumbled across the access camera viewer," said Cobb.

It's pretty neat. Say you think something suspicious is going on in the high school parking lot, just click and you're there. "Just in a case if we do have a real lock down you can look around. You can be in the office with the door locked, or wherever you are in the building, you can see what's going on. For the police it's very invaluable," said Cobb.

Having a cell phone handy gives law enforcement an advantage to devise a game plan for a variety of situations. "For incidents inside the school, we'll know where our point of contact will be or any incident. This doesn't necessarily need to be a violent incident," said Kelly.

Chief Kelly says school safety is a top priority for the department. He says several districts from around the area have even contacted him about their safety plan.

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