Martinsville, Henry County schools to get security upgrades

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) Several Martinsville Public Schools and Henry County schools will be getting new security cameras, new two-way radios and even a new visitor check-in system.

When visitors go to Martinsville High School they ring a bell and the secretary can see who it is, and communicate with them, before they even enter the building.

Pretty soon, all the schools in the county and city will have a system for the visitor to check in once they're in.

The visitor will be required to scan their driver's license.

"That makes sure that nobody entering the school is a registered sex offender and it checks all 50 states," says Martinsville City Schools Director for School Safety, T.J. Slaughter.

The visitors will then get a badge that they have to wear while they're in the school.

This helps staff know who all to account for in the event of an emergency.

"With this new check-in system, they can double check to see okay, how many extra people do we have in the building we need to account for them as well, to make sure they're not injured, make sure they have the safety and security they need too," says Henry County Schools Director of Communications, Monica Adams Hatchett.

Other upgrades include increased key card readers throughout some of the city schools.

"In different locations, within the buildings, adding it to other doors to make it more convenient for staff," says Slaughter.

Upgraded security cameras throughout the schools and new two-way radios with more features are also coming to several of the schools.

"As we've seen in this past week, tragic events, we're living in times that don't seem quite as safe as in the past," says Slaughter.

Some of the schools have already begun installing the new security equipment.

Martinsville City Schools was awarded more than $69,000, and Henry County Public Schools was awarded more than $14,000 for improvements.