Security stepped up as students head back to school

By Parker Branton - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - School got back in session Wednesday in Broward County in what will be the most watched first day of school ever for the Broward Sheriff's Office.

A new state-of-the-art strategic surveillance command center was up and running Wednesday morning, which included live feeds from computer-controlled camera systems that cover more than 260 schools and administrative buildings.

It's part of an effort to make parents, students and staff members feel safer in schools.

Students at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, which was plagued with problems of threats being made last school year, hope new resources will put a stop to scares.

"I don't think we should be going through it but that's the world we sadly live in," Dillard student Ronald Jaquez said. 

Neighboring Miami-Dade County Public Schools is also keying in on a safer school year, recently swearing in officers on their quest to become the biggest school district police department in the nation.

"I think the key words are peace of mind for teachers and students, peace of mind for parents," MDCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. 

Back in Broward County, parents and students can now use anonymous reporting apps like Safer Watch and FortifyFL, which are linked to law enforcement departments.

They can also use the Broward school tip line to make reports.

Broward County Public Schools remains in the process of hiring additional security staff.

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