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Carter School Resource Officers wearing vests that alert headquarters when deputy is shot or stabbed

Contributed • Jan 15, 2019 at 9:13 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff’s Office will be first law enforcement agency in the region to use a new technology that detects when a deputy’s ballistic vest is shot or stabbed and sends an alert to the department.

Members of the School Resource Officer Division are now wearing automatic injury detection sensors in their ballistic vests. The sensors detect a break in the vest, which can be caused by gunshots, stabbing attacks or other traumatic events. When the sensor detects a break, it sends a text alert with the deputy’s name, location, and blood type — all of which can be lifesaving information.

The vests work by linking with a deputy’s smart phone, and can even open the microphone on the phone to allow other deputies to hear what’s going on in the event of an emergency. Every SRO has been provided with a smart phone capable of supporting this technology, thanks to a partnership with Sprint.

“Technology like this is important because a few seconds or a few minutes can be the difference between life and death for our deputies,” Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said. “Having that notification as soon as an officer is hit can be critical.”

According to the sheriff, the new devices can also help protect the community.

“If someone has shot one of our deputies, then they’re a threat to the community as well,” Lunceford said. “We’ll be able to respond and apprehend a dangerous suspect more quickly using this technology.”

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