*Photo Credit: The Record Delta
BUCKHANNON – A business in Upshur County is now offering a service it hopes it never has to use.
Sentry Surveillance, which specializes in security camera installation, has added a Code Red Remote Overwatch Support to help law enforcement on scene of a potential school shooting incident, according to owner Rob Lambert.
“We specialize in security cameras,” he said. “Then we started installing them in schools and I saw the link between the technology and the need for this type of service.
“We are having school shootings and officers are blind going into a bad situation. Time is lost. Time is everything. The faster they can respond and get things under control and it will be better for everybody.”
The first officer on scene often enters the building to try to diffuse the situation and may only know what has been relayed to the E-911 dispatchers.
“Not having information is the worst thing if you want to move quickly,” Lambert said. “This is the best way to get them the information they need immediately.”
Sentry Surveillance offers a Code Red Remote Overwatch System with a monitoring center that has a dedicated direct line available to school systems to use in the event of an emergency. The emergency could be an active shooter, caller, missing child or other event. Through the overwatch system linked to the school’s cameras, the monitoring center can provide vital information about what is happening or what transpired prior to the emergency call.
“This is not a business I enjoy, just because of what it is but it’s nice to know that I can help these kids if they find themselves in a bad situation,” Lambert said.
Because of that, Sentry West Virginia works to keep costs down for schools to use the overwatch system. “I did not want it to be something that schools can’t afford,” he said. “I want this in the schools because it is for the kids.”
The bulk of Sentry Surveillance’s business comes from installation of security cameras.
The fees paid for the overwatch system are invested back into the equipment to make sure everything is always up-to-date. “Every morning we get on the system and verify that all cameras are working at every school, make sure the link is working and that all technology is working so we don’t wait until the day we need it and it’s not working.
“That’s a big advantage for us doing that, because then we work with the technology every day,” he said. “To think you can operate it the day you need it when you haven’t messed with it before is unrealistic.”
Taylor County Schools has recently purchased the Code Red Overwatch System and will be holding drills in the future to test the system. To learn more, visit sentrywv.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the business at 304-439-3000.