A former police lieutenant is the new director of school security for Metro schools, and he's got ideas and changes to make right off the bat.
He may be the new man on the job, but James Wheeler said he's stepping in with a lot of experience, and motivation to keep students safe.
"Really, what we're doing is acting on the plans that are currently in place, trying to increase school security," Wheeler said.
A former Metro police lieutenant with more than 25 years of law enforcement under his belt, Wheeler will help develop a new school system safety and security plan.
He said his first move is to help teachers protect students from inside their classrooms.
"We're starting off with the interlock system," he said. "What the interlock does is allows you to lock the door from the inside. In the past, the only way to lock a classroom was to go outside."
Next, Wheeler said the district will have more eyes on some of Metro's youngest students.
"We're looking to put a minimum of eight surveillance cameras into place at each elementary school. That would be for outside surveillance as well as inside surveillance," he said.
Wheeler said it's not just about the fancy gadgets. Instead, he sees school security as a three-part system.
"You've got parents and students, school security and SROs - everybody in the building," he said.
Wheeler said it's vitally important for parents to get involved in their children's safety and for teachers and administrators to help students know and understand what will keep them safe.
The interlock plan and security camera system were already in the works when Wheeler took the job, but he said he's excited to make them a reality and continue providing a direct link between the schools and the police department.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Metro schools introduce new security directorMore>>
Friday, May 24 2013 4:19 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:19:28 GMT
The Young and the Restless is airing a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m. MST. Cast members and friends of Cooper recently gathered on set to shoot a celebrationMore >
The Young and the Restless is airing a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m. MST.More >
The valley is preparing to say its final goodbyes to a fallen Phoenix police officer. Visitation was held Friday night for Officer Daryl Raetz - with a steady stream of his family, friends and colleagues.More >
Visitation was held Friday night for Officer Daryl Raetz - with a steady stream of his family, friends and colleagues - ahead of Saturday's funeral.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:39:28 GMT
Dan Marco's son was murdered in 2010. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family"My heart goes out to them, because I understand," says Dan Marco, who's son Zachary was murdered in 2010.ZacharyMore >
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 10:40 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:40:59 GMT
Closed iBeach Tan location in Gilbert.
Tracy Grogitsky purchased two memberships to the iBeach Tan salon in Gilbert just a few weeks ago. She said one was for a gift for her friends. Thursday, she went to the location to tan. "I thought, 'Oh,More >
Two local tanning salons closed without notice, and customers say they're not getting any refunds. More >
Friday, May 24 2013 8:35 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:35:27 GMT
(Source: CBS 5 News)
The Jodi Arias jury couldn't decide whether to sentence the convicted killer to death, or give her life in prison. Now the question is... what happens next? Former Superior Court Judge David Cole saidMore >
The Jodi Arias jury couldn't decide whether to sentence the convicted killer to death, or give her life in prison. Now the question is ... what happens next? More >
Friday, May 24 2013 12:29 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:29:51 GMT
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department. CBS 5 News selects five restaurants with some of the highestMore >
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department.More >