Unique computer program helps protect students at local school

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, Va. -- As school districts across the nation review security policies in the wake of the deadly shooting at a Florida high school on Valentine's Day, one Central Virginia district has a system inside schools designed to save lives during a shooting.

When a shooting happens inside a school, time is a crucial factor in reducing the time it takes law enforcement to arrive on the scene.

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office has a unique computer program to not only reduce time, but to relay information from classrooms in real-time.

A teacher simply clicks on a computer icon on the desktop that prompts a network-wide alert designed to warn teachers and first responders.

"We're getting live information immediately,"  Lt. Brad Evans with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office said.

Information is relayed to officers.

Information is relayed to officers.

Every teacher's classroom computer has this capability. And if they click on the icon without typing

"If you don't do anything, it automatically sends in 15 seconds," Evans said.

The program was installed over a year ago and once activated it sends real-time information to the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center.

"We've got it inside dispatch within two seconds of the time its activated," Evans explained.

But at the same time, every on duty deputy gets the same information on their in-car computer, including an alert sound to notify them of an emergency.

"It brings another level of confidence in knowing if an event does occur, help is on the way," Brunswick County High School Principal Christopher Coleman said.

If the teacher making the alert can safely type, anything the teacher types into the screen, such as what is happening, a description of the suspect, where the suspect is heading,  goes out instantly to deputies who are responding.

It is also simultaneously sends the same information to every teachers computer, so they can protect their students.

The computer program also has a link deputies can click to pull up a floor plan of the school they are responding to.

Officials said Hanover County Public Schools and Richmond Public Schools have similar programs.