DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A local college is ramping up security features in light of recent events across the country.
Durham Tech’s Chief of Police Jamaal Walker said after recent active shooter situations across the country the college assessed how prepared it is for emergencies.
He said the campus bomb threat on June 30 also heightened the need to focus on security.
Walker said the main concern from the assessment was the ability to lockdown the campus. Right now, officers have to use keys to manually lock buildings from the outside.
“At any given time you may have one or two officers on campus trying to lock down 11 buildings, it’s just not, it’s just not feasible,” Walker said.
That’s why Durham Tech is implementing an automatic lockdown system. By putting electronic key card sensors on outside doors, police can lock down the whole campus with just the push of a button.
Walker said many classrooms already have the sensors.
“If we know an active shooter was on one side of the campus and we just kind of wanted to safeguard the rest, we would lockdown the rest and secure those people so that they aren’t traversing across campus into harm’s way,” Walker said.
On Monday, the Durham County Board of Commissioners approved Durham Tech to spend $200,000 on the security update. A spokesperson for the college said the money is a surplus from a scholarship fund and won’t impact how many scholarships are handed out.
Walker said there have been no lockdowns or shootings on campus this year.
“We just want to be prepared for whatever happens to be able to keep our college community safe,” Walker said.
Durham Tech is also working on putting surveillance cameras inside all buildings.
Walker said he hopes to have the system installed by the fall.
Wake Tech said many of its campuses are now fully equipped with electronic door sensors and that it started installing the technology about a year ago. A spokesperson for the school said they’re working to finish the installation on some buildings.