The Halifax County School District came to a unanimous 7- 0 vote on March 14 to have school officials wear body cameras—following the footsteps of other school districts in America, according to ABC 13 WSET.
The South Boston Police Department gave Halifax County the cameras, according to Halifax County Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon. The cameras are courtesy of the local police department, who are expecting new cameras, and they’ve decided to donate their old cameras to the Halifax County School board.
“We enjoy the knowledge that [the schools] have [the cameras],” said South Boston Police Department Lt. Dennis Barker. “They can use them at a moment’s notice. It’s easier interaction.”
Halifax County High School principal, Michael Lewis, thinks the device will “improve safety within the building” because school officials would have the ability to “record what may happen.”
“They aren’t going to be used all the time,” said Principal Lewis. “Only in certain situations… like there’s an altercation in the school, you could turn the camera on to record that. If you had someone in the building and you didn’t know who it was, you could [use it to] work with the local police department.”
“The body cameras will be used for safety purposes only” – HaliCo HS Principal Michael Lewis pic.twitter.com/mxgG9lCt9v
— Marissa Parra ABC 13 (@MarParNews) March 15, 2016
The cameras—which can be worn around the neck by a lanyard or clipped onto pockets—would be worn by school administrators at both Halifax County High School and Middle School, said Principal Lewis.
The video from the cameras will be stored on a computer in the office and may likely be kept on file for an entire school year, according to WSLS 10.
The school will spend the next few weeks arbitrating how they will implement protocol for use of the cameras—Principal Lewis says he’ll be notifying Halifax County Middle and High School parents immediately.
The device will most likely take effect on April 4 when students return from spring break.