Cameras in Blount Co. schools could stop attacks

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Blount Co.parents can rest a little easier knowing an extra set of eyes are on their children at school.

The county's E-911 center now has 24/7 access to school cameras within county. This comes after several school shootings in recent year like Parkland, Fla. and Sandy Hook, Conn.

"We certainly hope that never happens," Maryville Director of Schools Mike Winstead said. "We want to prevent it."

He says the extra monitoring from miles away would make a big difference in an emergency.

"If something were to happen, they would be the eyes for first responders who would come on the scene," Winstead said.

From the moment they are notified, dispatchers have real time access to see any problem.

"Things have changed over the last 30 years," 911 Center Director James Long said. "If we don't change with them we're putting our children, and communities in danger."

He said dispatchers will relay updates to officers as they watch it unfold.

"We can direct that first responder to the exact location they need to be in order to stop what is happening if it is a violent situation," Long said.

He said 911's access to the cameras could be the difference between life and death.

"The faster you can get there the quicker it can be stopped," Long said.

The Blount County 911 center currently has access to all of Alcoa and Maryville city schools, and most of the schools in the county system. They will get access to all the county schools as they update their camera systems.