Kennewick School District Invests in Security Lockdown System - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick School District Invests in Security Lockdown System

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The Kennewick School District is stepping up their efforts when it comes to safety.

Some new security upgrades will help schools protect children in case of a lockdown.

The Kennewick School District is investing in new technology enhancements to put safety first and they're using Sunset View Elementary as their pilot program.

These changes will speed up emergency lockdowns and help security identify possible threats immediately.

The new technology will allow the Kennewick School District to lock down their schools with just the click of a button.

A new remote locking system can lock each outside door instantly.

"In the event of an emergency we've got a method. Before we were relying on people having to go to these doors and actually manually lock them, which is not a reliable method in an emergency," said Ronald Cone, Kennewick School District Information Technology Director.

New software monitors the lock status of each door and cameras display the entire perimeter of the school.

The security system can even target specific areas of the building to guide students to safety.

"Look outside on the playground and see what happening in the parking lot. So it just increases our ability to prevent something from happening or to quickly react if we ever needed to," said Lorraine Cooper, Kennewick School District Spokesperson.

"Playground evac, where we open up the doors on just the playground side of the building so the kids can come in but the rest of the building is actually locked down from the front side," Cone said.

The school district is installing the security systems in each elementary school this year and eventually every school in the district.

The $30,000 investment per school is invaluable.

"People feel more comfortable and safe in their schools. That's students, parents and staff to know we have a lot more capability," Cooper said.

The security systems are expected to be installed in each elementary school by the end of the summer.

And this fall an app will be available for administrators to change the school threat level from their phone to lock down the school from any location.