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      New technology used by Dewitt Police can help first responders

      Dewitt Police Dept. uses new technology which provides virtual map of every school in town.

      Each day has been more heartbreaking than the next as we learn about the innocent victims who were brutally gunned down in Connecticut Elementary School.

      As we move forward, there is an inevitable discussion about what we can do to prevent these tragedies. Here in Central New York, the Dewitt Police Department is using an innovative program which will help first responders. Police Chief, Eugene Conway, says Dewitt is the only department in Central New York to adopt the virtual program which provides a 3-D look inside every public and private school in town.

      "When you arrive on a scene, first responders, literally know what's inside every hallway, what's inside every classroom. That information is vital for the first responders who arrive there who may not know where the suspect may be or where the victims may be," says Conway.

      The 360 degree virtual tour is available to all officers, including inside their patrol cars. It's a much more detailed look than the standard floor plan, used by most agencies and school districts.

      The program is not expensive, but is somewhat labor intensive since it requires taking photos of every inch of the building and piecing them together. However, with changes in technology that's becoming easier. For instance,most new smartphones allow you to take panoramic photos.

      Nobody would ever be able to prepare themselves for the horror first responders saw on Friday, but tools like this one used by Dewitt Police can make planning a little easier.