Ballistic shields to be placed at elementary schools in Iredell County

Bullet resistance shields are being placed at elementary schools in Iredell County as part of a new initiative by the sheriff's office.

Sheriff Darren Campbell made the announcement Monday that his office would be purchasing and stationing the portable ballistic shields to be "prepositioned at elementary schools" throughout the county. 

“This is just another way we are hardening our schools in an effort to make our schools here in Iredell County more secure," Campbell said. "By pre-deploying these assets, we are taking efforts to protect the schools who do not, at this point, have a full time school resource deputy assigned to them”.

The sheriff's office said it will use more than $45,000 of Federal Equity Sharing Money, which are seized funds from drug dealers, to purchase the ballistic shields. 

“These shields will be deployed by our deputies or any other responding law enforcement officer, when they respond to the schools to protect those involved while searching and clearing a school for a suspect or suspects. Sheriff Campbell also stated, “They can also be used to increase the survivability of the students and staff when used to shield them while going through lock down procedures or evacuating the schools. We will conduct training with the school staff in the usages of these items and show them how our deputies will utilize them during an incident, if one occurs”.

Deputies in Iredell County have performed more than 27.000 school checks. Sheriff Campbell said adding the shields is just another step in protecting the county's children.