October 31, 2016
As School Bells Ring,Thoughts Turn to Enhancing Security

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for parents, or is it? The school year has just begun, and as parents drop their children off at school or watch as their bus pulls away, they should be able to feel that their kids will be safe and secure while in the classroom. But as we know too well, we are now living in a time of heightened alert, when world, national, corporate, and individual security has become an all too common concern. And, unfortunately, we have seen the sanctity of our schools also become a place where terrorist attacks, bomb threats and even shootings by fellow classmates are increasing at an alarming rate.

Practicing security and lockdown drills has become a part of the regular curriculum at many schools throughout our country. The New Jersey School Security Task Force, in their report issued last summer, suggested ongoing training in many formats, conducted collaboratively by schools and professional emergency responders, be carried out and be required for all school personnel.

Also in their report, the Task Force recommends the use of smartphone devices to send an immediate alert to police and for two-way communication during an emergency. In response to these concerns and their resulting school safety initiatives, CSI has developed Info-Alert!, a special module designed to reside on smartphones and support the communication of both emergency and administrative matters in our schools throughout the country.

InfoAlert! is a modern smart device application that supports today’s school safety initiatives and promotes rapid communication for emergency alerts and other notifications. From a school closing to an active shooter, InfoAlert! provides your school administration with the ability to get the right information to the right people FAST!

Designed especially for school safety and administration, some of the special features built into InfoAlert! include:

The ability to notify and alert who you must when you must. You can even set up pre-defined distribution lists, ready for quick notifications to target audiences at any time.

You can send select notifications to staff, students and even other schools.

You can send quick, silent alerts to public safety authorities with the push of a button. The silent communication feature facilitates the ability to send and receive communication and instructions in times of emergency and lock-downs.

Provides an immediate warning and notification capability among school administrators, teachers and students.

Embedded with GPS technology: When you notify police, they automatically know your location.

Easily attach photos and videos to your message.

Fully integrates with police RMS and CAD for immediate response dispatch and access to school security plans.

When a parent hears the dreaded news that an incident has occurred at their child’s school, usually the first inclination is to rush to the site and remove their child. However, as reported in NJ.com this past January, parents are advised not to self-deploy to the school scene. Having parents on the scene causes police to have to split their resources, and perform crowd control, rather than focusing on containing the perpetrator and protecting and aiding the students. Patrick Kissane, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Resource Officers, told NJ.com that “Crowds of parents or media at the site of a real event can be the difference between casualties living or dying.” He advises that communication is key, as well as knowing the school’s emergency plan. InfoAlert! supports parent notifications and updates, and is configured to the school’s emergency plans. It can keep parents informed and lets them know what they should do.

The ability to send and receive notifications, and access all of the safety features listed above, are available on something almost every person in the school keeps with them constantly, their smart phone. With InfoAlert!, putting an emergency response into action is just a click away!

In combination with excellent, repetitive training and a well thought out plan of action, InfoAlert! is a key component to your school’s action plan. Its timely technology seamlessly integrates with all aspects of your school safety plan, working to keep our children safe at school so they can continue to learn in a healthy, stable environment. That is CSI’s goal, as we continue our partnership with state, county and municipal government. Call Mike Trahey at CSI (1-855-CSI-4GOV) or email him (mtrahey@csitech.com) to see how InfoAlert!’s many features will bring enhanced school safety, emergency management and communication to your fingertips!