Sevier County schools beef up security with video-intercoms

Sevier County schools beef up security with video-intercom systems

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Visitors now have to be buzzed in to the buildings. Visitors now have to be buzzed in to the buildings.
"It has been extremely effective and it has been a very positive addition. We've had nothing but praise and positive comments from parents in our community and our staff," said Sevierville Intermediate principal Dr. Terri Dodge. "It has been extremely effective and it has been a very positive addition. We've had nothing but praise and positive comments from parents in our community and our staff," said Sevierville Intermediate principal Dr. Terri Dodge.
"I think it's very effective. It keeps people accountable for who is in and out of the buildings, which before, it wasn't really like that," said parent Bree McGrane. "I think it's very effective. It keeps people accountable for who is in and out of the buildings, which before, it wasn't really like that," said parent Bree McGrane.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - School systems around East Tennessee are looking at ways to beef up security in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

One item Knox County superintendent Jim McIntyre mentioned in his State of the Schools address was access control, video monitoring and systems to buzz in people entering a school.

It's similar to the type of security system recently installed at Sevier County Schools.

Family members now have to push a button to get access to their kids' school during the day.

It connects to a camera and intercom system inside the office, which also unlocks the door.

"It has been extremely effective and it has been a very positive addition. We've had nothing but praise and positive comments from parents in our community and our staff," said Sevierville Intermediate principal Dr. Terri Dodge.

One parent says she didn't know about the system being at her son's school until she had to use it, but she's glad it's there.

"Any sort of security for your children when you aren't with you is reassuring as a parent. To know that, hopefully, when you send your child to school, you'll be picking them up from school," said parent Bree McGrane.

While the cameras outside Sevier County Schools are relatively small and unobtrusive, they actually show the entire entryway for the building. The person inside can zoom in and out on the image if the need arises.

"We try not to bring too much attention to it, because we do want our kids to feel safe and secure and also learn, because academic achievement and learning is so important," added Dr. Dodge.

The systems were installed in 27 Sevier County schools over winter break. The total cost of the project was about $35,000.

"I think it's very effective. It keeps people accountable for who is in and out of the buildings, which before, it wasn't really like that," stated McGrane.

The camera and intercom system is just the latest security measure in Sevier County schools.

They already have school resource officers and security cameras throughout the premises, and students practice safety drills.

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