PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.-- Anyone who says “you cannot be everywhere at once” has not seen the tactical operations center for Palm Beach County School District police.
Technology—flat screens, near real time computer-based communications and situation boards—put eyes, ears and information everywhere faster than ever before.
We got a look recently at the center. Video feeds provide a constant stream of pictures from more than 180 school campuses.
Assistant Police Chief Dennis Weiner said, “With the latest technology we are able to essentially see what is happening across the entire county.”
Police officers assigned to every campus can tie in from laptop computers or other mobile devices, creating near real time links to and from the operations center.
Dumosire Wright helped build the operations center and she told me, “I see a great way to communicate. I know exactly what is going on in the district by looking at the (computer screen) panels behind me.”
The work at the ops center doesn’t end when the school day concludes. Football games on campus, or other big events, can also be monitored.
Weiner said, “We track events at the campuses both during the school day and after the bell.”
Technology at work—weaving a bigger security blanket and, it is hoped, faster, more coordinated responses should trouble arise.