A new tool has turned Baltimore village police officers into “virtual” cops.
DARE officer Jason Harget demonstrated how officers can see inside every school in the district from the inside of his police cruiser.
With a click of a button, Harget can access every school security camera anytime he wants. There's not a hallway, gym, cafeteria or parking lot he can't see no matter where he's on patrol.
Harget said that if there was an active shooter or another school emergency, he could instantly pinpoint where the activity was located.
There are total of 25 cameras in the high school, middle school and elementary school.
Not only do they allow police to see inside, but they record the action as well. That means police can review the tape before they are even dispatched.
“We are constantly in a position to know what's going on in those schools,” said Police Chief Michael Tussey.
The school district says this virtual police presence is already paying off.
“Our outside cameras have night vision, so our students know better than to be on the grounds, or whatever they are going to get caught,” said Principal Tim Turner at Liberty Union Middle School.
Baltimore is one of the few police departments in the state to use this technology that officers believe can prevent or slow down a school shooter by having the ability to see inside a school before they arrive.
“It's sending a message - we're watching,” said Harget.
With only one school resource officer for three school buildings, the department says this new technology allows the officer to literally be in three different schools at the same time - without the cost of adding officers.
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