Homewood schools revamp security systems


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HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT)- A new school year brings new expecations and hopes, but some same old worries from yesteryear. “[I worry] I won’t reach the child like they need to be reached, which is my goal,” says Karen Cooper, a second grade teacher at Shades Cahaba Elementary School. Unfortunately, because of tragedies like Sandy Hook, there’s a new set of worries for teachers like Cooper. “I worry about it at least once a week,” she said. It’s not just teachers the potential dangers weigh heavy upon. School Resource Officers, like Jeremy Baswell (who’s assigned to Homewood High School), must be ready at all times. “I think about it every day,” he said. “That’s the reason we’re here, to try and neutralize something like that.”

Homewood is stepping up their pre-cautionary and protocol this school year. New locks have been installed on all inner doors, and the security camera system is being upgraded to provide a fuller picture at any given time around all the systems campuses. Teachers and staff are also being trained in the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) method. “Traditionally we’ve been alert and lock down,” explained Baswell. “Where ALICE kind of enhances and gets you thinking and reacting to the situation that you’re dealt with.”

Friday, teachers from every school in the Homewood system were required to undergo training at Homewood High School. By all reports, the drill was a success.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-CBS42

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