BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony gave Local 10 News an exclusive look Wednesday at BSO’s Real Time Crime Center, which was designed in part to mitigate the threat of school violence.
The RTCC allows for real-time monitoring and analysis of important investigative information during a critical incident, according to BSO.
The collaboration with Broward County Public Schools provides BSO direct access to video surveillance systems, monitoring nearly 10,000 cameras in more than 260 public school and administrative buildings.
Broward County is only six weeks into its new school year and Local 10 News has already reported on countless threats prompting code red lockdowns.
On the first day of classes at Coconut Creek High School, a 15-year-old student was arrested on Aug. 22 after police said he was accused of bringing a gun to school.
One week later, authorities said threatening calls were placed at Charles Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines and American Senior High School in Hialeah, but were unfounded.
At South Plantation High School, two threats were reported just two weeks apart when a bomb threat was called in on Sept.6. Students and staff at the school also experienced another scare after it was placed on lockdown due to a written threat against a teacher and some students last Tuesday.
Authorities said the student was arrested and is now facing a felony charge following the incident.
“Most people come to school just to play, they don’t take these threats seriously,” said one student at South Plantation High School. “Each quarter there’s mental health mandates, but we need to talk more about the actual bomb threat consequences.”
Broward Sheriff Tony said he agreed with the student’s statement and took Local 10 inside BSO’s Real Time Crime Center.
“If a school threat takes place and comes out right now, you will see everyone integrate and work together,” said Tony.
From cameras to social media investigators, Tony says the crime center staff are always on watch.
The Real Time Crime Center was launched after the Parkland school tragedy. Tony says It has more than 20,000 cameras and countless investigators.
“Most of these threats that they are introducing into the community. One will impact some form of felony charge, which is going to be on their record for the rest of their lives. The second thing that is being missed and not discussed is the amount of resources it takes for our organization to respond to any threat that comes up,” Tony said.
According to Tony, all threats are taken seriously, and every resource is launched from SWAT teams to aviation, and a multitude of investigators on the ground burning up hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“This is why parents and kids need to understand that these threats are serious,” Tony said.
Tony told Local 10 News that since the crime center launched, 3500 investigations have been conducted and at least 500 arrests have been made.