BROWARD COUNTY (CBSNews/CBSMiami) – CBS News recently went inside the Broward Sheriff’s Office command center, where in real time, they can watch thousands of cameras set up in hundreds of schools across the county. The real-time crime center aims to prevent potential shootings before a gunman can act.
There are up to 10-thousand security cameras in 260 schools, but that only happens when the threat is real.
“When we have something referred to as a code red or a lockdown at a school, that information relays through our dispatch, finds its way here, and then instantly our team pulls up the cameras on the schools so we can get a live feed as to what’s occurring on the site,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony told Jeff Pegues of CBS News.
Threats here have gone up, just as they have nationwide.
More than 4.1 million students endured at least one lockdown in the 2017-2018 school year alone.
In Parkland, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 dead and a sobering reminder that preventing the next threat is just as important as the response to one that is unfolding.
Since the Parkland shooting, Florida passed a red flag law that allows the state to confiscate guns from individuals who pose a risk to themselves or the public. So far, more than 2,700 temporary orders have been granted to seize guns.
Earlier this month, in just one week, BSO deputies arrested a total of three teenagers for making threats against a school.
In one case, a 12-year-old female student was arrested after she posted two threatening messages on Snapchat. One message was a hit list targeting classmates at Falcon Cove Middle School in Weston.
In another case, a 16-year-old is accused of making violent threats against Cypress Bay High School, also in Weston.
The real time crime center allows investigators to track threats on social media.
“At times we are looking at social media looking for key words specifically in our geographical area to see if there are things out there to be concerned with to protect the residents of Broward County.”
Sheriff Tony says parents should feel confident that BSO has schools and kids protected.
‘Protect the schools’ is a motto heard repeatedly in the real-time crime center where there is also a seal. It is an image of an owl, which sees everything with 17 stars around it, one star each of the Parkland victims.