Indiana school cameras reach police, firefighters

Merrillville Community School Corporation

Video cameras placed throughout the public schools in Merillville, Indiana will soon be linked directly to the town's police and fire dispatch center, providing streaming video during emergencies.

The town's school board unanimously approved the plan proposed by IBT Video Systems. IBT's digital video surveillance technology is in each of the schools in the Merillville district, and in schools and businesses nationwide, according to the company. The system has been in place in the Merillville High School since 2002.

Each school will have "duress" or "panic" buttons around the building. When an administrator, teacher or student activates the button, the school's video systems will automatically begin streaming video, and triggering an alarm at the dispatch center. The video will allow dispatchers to better assess the situation and determine the appropriate response, and it can also be used as a tactical resource during any response, Tim Moore, president of IBT, said in a statement.

Connection will start with the high school, and then work down into the middle, intermediate and elementary schools. The company will be providing free equipment and training to the Merillville Police Department.

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