CLEVELAND, Ohio —
In January, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon announced enhanced safety measures, granting Cleveland police access to district surveillance cameras.
The announcement came days after 18-year-old CMSD student Pierre McCoy was tragically shot and killed at a bus stop outside John Adams College and Career Academy.
"This shooting really brought to the forefront the importance of getting that system up and working," said Cleveland Division of Police Chief Wayne Drummond.
McCoy was the third student killed near a CMSD school so far this academic year.
"It's hurtful, and it just feels like you cant do enough to prevent it," said CMSD Safety & Security Chief Lamont Dodson.
Chiefs Dodson and Drummond told 3News they have been working together for decades, and have been trying to get this camera collaboration up and running for over a year.
So far 10 CMSD locations are sharing exterior surveillance camera access with the Cleveland Division of Police:
- Collinwood High School
- Garrett Morgan School of Engineering & Innovation
- Ginn Academy
- Glenville High School
- John Adams College and Career Academy
- John F Kennedy High School
- John Marshall School of Engineering
- Lincoln-West School of Science & Health
- James Ford Rhodes High School
- East Professional Center
"With the advent of what we're doing with the security camera systems, it's only going to further enhance our partnership and our ability to keep the community, as well as the students safe," Dodson said.
So how does this help?
Both safety leaders said the collaboration will do much more than add a few extra eyes in the skies.
"It's a deterrent and it really give us an opportunity to say you now have visibility around schools where you didn't have before," Dodson said.
They add that police will have real-time access to the surveillance cameras allowing them to evaluate scenes, respond faster and possibly identify witnesses, evidence and even suspects before officers arrive.
"If someone is doing something in school, we can identify them. If someone is doing something outside of school, we can identify them and hold them accountable," Drummond said.
It's just one step that Drummond said will help address crime in the city.
"All our efforts in law enforcement will not stop the crime that's taking place in society. We're just a tool, but we need everyone's help in bringing crime down," Drummond said.
Dodson told 3News there are seven additional schools on the short list for the camera sharing partnership, with the goal of granting access for all 90 CMSD buildings.