School bus security in the wake of hijacking
JACKSONVILLE (KATV) - It's a newly installed security camera system helping Jacksonville Police piece together just what happened on a Pulaski County Special School District school bus Thursday morning.
Just about six months ago, not even half of PCSSD's buses were even equipped with cameras at all.
It's a first for the district, a hijacking, but every bus driver on staff is trained to handle various situations, including this morning's hijacking.
Elementary students were on the bus this morning, and fortunately no one was hurt.
It's these cameras that captured 22-year-old Nicholas Miller hijacking a PCSSD bus, a bus carrying 11 elementary students.
"The technology that's available now for school buses is fantastic. We have cameras showing what's going on on the exterior of the bus, what's going on from the front to the back," said Deb Roush, PCSSD Spokesperson.
From back to front and front to back, all 339 buses are equipped with four cameras each.
But it's not just surveillance the district is depending on to keep students and staff safe, it's also the training all bus drivers must go through.
"A couple things they're supposed to do is obviously first and foremost remain calm, then also talk to the individual, engage them, and keep a distance and when possible, move in the opposite direction of that individual," added Roush.
Roush commends the 20 year veteran bus driver for keeping her cool, all while trying to keep the kids alive.
"From early indications, she did everything according to her training, kept calm, kept a distance from the individual and kept the kids safe which is most important," said Roush.
Not only do all the buses use digital security cameras now, they also have live GPS trackers.
School counselors will be available to both students and parents.