New Security Initiative Allows Police to Access School Camera Systems

New Security Initiative Allows Police to Access School Camera Systems

Police in Suffolk County, N.Y., will be allowed access to schools’ security cameras in case of an emergency in some districts this fall in an initiative called S.H.A.R.E. – Sharing to Help Access Remote Entry.

Police in Suffolk County, N.Y., will be allowed access to schools’ security cameras in case of an emergency in some districts this fall, according to County Executive Steve Bellone.

The initiative, called S.H.A.R.E. – Sharing to Help Access Remote Entry – was created to allow school district to connect their camera systems directly to the Suffolk County Police Department. With SHARE, police would then receive real-time video camera feeds, maps and other images from school campuses, and in an emergency use them to watch and track active shooter or intruder activity.

Officials said officers could then be directed toward specific entrances and locations in a school building. Information could also be shared with other first responders, allowing law enforcement and emergency response teams to better coordinate rescue efforts.

"This connection will provide law enforcement the enhanced capabilities needed to respond more quickly," Bellone said. "We now have the tools in place to reduce response time."

There is not yet an estimate of how many of Suffolk’s 68 public schools have signed on to the SHARE initiative. West Babylon schools chief Yiendhy Farrelly and Elwood Superintendent Kenneth Bossert said their districts will have the program implemented by the time school starts in September.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart, citing privacy concerns raised by security cameras in schools, said police will only have access to the cameras during an emergency incident. The access will provide "responding officers with the description and location of the threat, which would be vital to apprehending the person and stopping the threat," she said.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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