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The safety changes Duval County students will see this year | #schoolsaftey

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students in Duval County are heading back to class Monday — the last district in our area the start the new school year.

Many students in Duval will notice some big changes at their schools with new resources in place to keep students safe.

Duval County Public Schools Police Chief Gregory Burton said he believes several new measures being implemented this year will make an instant impact on student safety.

Every high school student in a Duval County Public School will start their days by going through a weapons detection system. It would be able to sense guns, knives or any other weapons.

Burton hopes the scanners discourage students from even thinking about bringing a weapon to school.

“We know that students are bringing guns and drugs to school. It’s a bad thing, but us detecting guns and drugs in schools only helps make our schools safer,” Burton said.

Students will also have new smart ID cards with upgraded technology that will include a chip to streamline the new bus boarding procedure.

There’s also a new resource for emergencies. Smart-button badges that only teachers will have will send out emergency alerts if the teachers rapidly click the button.

RELATED: More than 500 threats against Duval County schools from 2020-2022: Which schools top the list?

The emergency alerts will alert school staff that there is a threat and the school needs to go into lockdown and the same alerts will go to school police and other Jacksonville-area law enforcement agencies.

Those alerts will also allow first responders to locate who activated them, which could place them close to where a suspect might be.

DCPS is also welcoming its first-ever K-9 unit with K-9 officers Maverick and Leo.

Maverick, who recently visited The Morning Show, is expected to be a part of random school searches and investigate threats and work large scenes.

Leo will be responsible for detecting drugs.

Burton said this is the only gun-detecting K-9 unit in Northeast Florida law enforcement.

If you have a smartphone, Burton encourages you to download the Fortify Florida app.

You can use the app to send alerts or tips if you see something or need to report a threat, and you can even send text messages through it as well.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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