New System Allows Students to Use Technology to Help Henry Co. Sheriff's Office Fight Crime in Schools

Henry Co., VA- The Henry County Sheriff's Office is using a new tool to fight crime in schools.

They recently introduced a new system in the schools, to give students a quick way to connect to the Sheriff's Office and report criminal behavior.

With the Nevada school shooting Monday fresh in our minds, the system seems to be coming at a great time.

You don't see most teens without their cell phones.

"Technology, it is what it is. It's the here and now, I fell like the kids are pretty much born with it and are experts by the age of four," said Amy Scott, Henry County Public Schools, Coordinator of Student Services.

The Henry County Sheriff's Office is now using that to their advantage.

"We live in a technological world and that's what the kids are involved with so we're trying to keep up with the 21st century," said Lt. Eric Hairston, Henry County Sheriff's Office."

They plan to help reduce behavior such as drug abuse, larceny, and bullying in Henry County Schools with the help of middle students and high school students.

If they see something suspicious, all they have to do is text or email what they see to this address.

"Anytime we give our students the opportunity to tell what's going on inside the school environment I think is a plus for us," Hairston said.

They say the system is not meant for situations where the whole school is in serious danger.

"The system is not set up for weapons. We encourage our students to report immediately to an adult, a school resource officer and to dial 911 if there is an imminent threat or danger," Hairston said.

The Sheriff's Office says many students are afraid of reporting bad behavior because they feel like they're being a snitch, But the new system solves that: they can remain anonymous.

The Sheriff's Office says they haven't received any texts or e-mails from students yet.

School Resource Officers have spent the last couple of weeks letting the kids know about the program, and they've also posted the address around the school.