September 10, 2015
InfoAlert! CSI’s Smartphone App for Community and Campus Security

The Upper Saddle River (NJ) Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick Rotella and in collaboration with the Upper Saddle River School System, is in the final stages of instituting a fully integrated alert/ notification system to effectively communicate nonverbal, bidirectional information during an emergency incident. The system they are implementing is CSI’s InfoAlert!, a product we have developed to support communities and school systems throughout the country. For schools in Upper Saddle River, InfoAlert! will facilitate implementing and maintaining their school emergency operations plans.

With InfoAlert!, everyone can stay informed of emergencies and dangerous situations. Communication between authorities and the community is readily available using a device people carry everyday… their smartphone, iPad or Android tablet. Using the InfoAlert! application, a school system or a citizen can alert their respective police department of an incident, nonverbally, by merely clicking on a tab and entering their emergency. This immediate process transmits the message directly to the police department’s dispatch console. The dispatcher can immediately process the information and, when necessary, create a Call For Service (CFS) from their Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD). GPS technology is embedded in the app to send responders to the scene, without the sender having to enter location information.

Public safety and campus security agencies can even predefine lists to target messages to specific audiences. For instance, lists can be established prior to an emergency occurring so that a targeted communication can be directed to teachers or police officers or any other specific group. Also, to facilitate composing messages quickly during an emergency, agencies can predefine message content into dropdown lists for easy selection. “These options make it easy for an agency to quickly get the word out in an emergency situation and mobilize the proper resources to respond,” explains Mike Trahey, Vice President for CSI’s Emergency Management Division.

In the case of a school lockdown resulting from an active shooting incident, InfoAlert! can place a silent alert to authorities, without tipping off a perpetrator that a call to police has been placed. During such emergencies, police, schools and citizens are able to send and receive nonverbal alert messages and photographs throughout the event, even when traditional forms of communication could put staff or students at risk. Someone hiding from an armed attacker can silently send a message to police, such as “I’m in the closet in room 202.”

In emergency situations such as Super Storm Sandy, a chemical spill from a truck on the turnpike or a terrorist attack at an airport, authorities can send out alerts to the general public with advice and warnings in one swift transmission. In a campus situation, alerts from campus security can warn students about pandemics, food poisoning outbreaks,class cancellations or a predator on campus. Bidirectional alerts and tip and information sharing provide the ability for both police and the public to transmit messages and images to each other. Authorities can provide information and instructions and citizens can report status or seek assistance, thus raising awareness of where trouble lies and how to deal with it. Photos of suspicious persons or vehicles can be transmitted to the police from citizens and viceversa.

Give your citizens the added protection that comes from bidirection communication in preparing for and managing emergencies! With InfoAlert!, the availability of instant communication between your citizens, schools and public safety agencies works to save lives. Contact your CSI Account Manager or call our office at 1855CSI4GOV for more information.