JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Americans have been debating what it’s going to take to make schools safer.
Centegix Crisis Alert officials believe their badge-based solution will help.
So do almost 25% of Florida schools who have bought it.
“What we found was that the number one way to save lives across the board is reducing the notification time and reducing the response time– doesn’t matter the type of emergency,” Centegix Vice President Rob Kent said.
Jackson County Schools Superintendent Steve Benton said he can’t think of a quicker, more discrete way to call for help, than pushing a button tied around your neck.
“It’s the best one in the market in my opinion, as of right now,” Benton said.
The Centegix badge can can be tucked behind a school staff member’s identification card.
If you push the button on the badge, then your location is pinned.
It doesn’t require an internet connection.
The badge has two settings. ‘Staff alert’ takes three clicks.
“These are fights, these are medical emergencies, these are anything where a staff member feels like they need help from an administrator or her security officer or a nurse immediately,” Kent said.
The other setting is ‘campus alert.’
“And if a teacher hits it like eight times, all lights turn red and that lets people know, you know, there’s an issue there,” Benton said.
Campus alert signals an active threat on campus. 911 is called too.
Red sirens installed in the classrooms, hallways, and bathrooms will turn green when there’s no longer a threat.
Jackson County Sheriff Donnie Edenfield said he would like to see the system in action before deciding it’s safe for Jackson County Schools.
He plans to tour a nearby school that already has the system.
“In the event that we did have an active shooter, that it works. We don’t want to find out on one of those days that it didn’t work properly,” Sheriff Edenfield said.
School board members said they’ll most likely get Centegex if they can find the $500,000 to buy it.
Once they make the decision, the new alert system can be installed in 90 days.