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Johnson City police learning new technology to protect schools

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Schools throughout our region are looking for ways to better fortify buildings and increase security after the massacre in Parkland, Florida.

In Johnson City, police are training with new technology to keep a better eye on school grounds.

They're using a new 3D scanner that's similar to virtual reality.

Police are using it to scan buildings to study their layouts, so when there's an emergency, they'll know the building inside and out.

"Basically it takes a picture and we can pull it up on our computer-- we can look at the hallways, the classrooms, learn the layouts," said Chief Karl Turner.

His department is using the scans for response training. And when there's an emergency, they can use the images to strategize.

"We'll be able to see the measurements of the ground to the window, so then we can know what size ladder we need to get into the building. We'll know how big a certain area is-- a classroom," said Turner.

"If they had a particular room the police need to get into, the scan would give them the real time image of what the obstacles in the room are-- it will show all the nooks and crannies in the building that might be used for hiding places,"said Dr. Greg Wallace, the district's supervisor of safety and mental health. "

Police are getting ready to scan Science Hill's Topper Academy.

"I think what this shows more than anything, is that we're never going to be satisfied with things that are commonplace." said Dr. Wallace. "We're always going to look at what's next."

Chief Turner also hopes this will keep his officers on their toes.

"We want to keep our skills up as far as knowing those buildings and the layout," said Turner.

Once they're done scanning Topper Academy, they'll move on to the other schools.


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