Carteret County public schools to beef up security systems

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:59 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, N.C. (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina school system voted Tuesday morning to start phase one of a door monitoring access control system.

According to officials, phase one of the grant will include the installation of video surveillance camera boxes on the front doors of all Carteret County public schools.

The video plans will give school front office officials the chance to see a 180-degree view of those in front of the door.

The upgraded cameras will allow school officials to see a 180-degree view of the front of the school buildings’ front doors. There will also be an intercom on the panel, giving school staff the chance to speak to anyone there.

Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson explained the plan, saying “There is no higher priority in our school system than keeping our students and staff safe.”

Jackson said that in addition to the new cameras, the school system will also install a front entrance monitoring system in phase two of the security upgrade. He says the monitoring system will be smartphone and email compatible. If a door is open for a certain period of time, an alert will be sent to school officials.

Three school resource officer positions at each of the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office, Beaufort, and Newport police departments will be included in the additions from grant funding.

Some parents said they are happy with the updates.

“I mean that’s the biggest concern is your kid all day long. It does feel better to feel like your kid’s safe at school, so when you know that they’re in better hands and someone there to protect them, then that definitely makes you feel better,” Carteret County Public Schools parent Brittney Whittemore said.

Jackson also explained that the recent mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas played a role in the decision for the updates.

“All of the tragedies that we have witnessed across our country in a lot of places continue to be in our hearts and certainly highlight the need for us to do everything we possibly can to keep our students and staff safe. If they don’t feel safe, they won’t be able to attend to their studies,” Jackson said.

Officials plan to present phase two of the system at the board’s August meeting, where they hope to install the panels on all exterior doors in the school system.

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