WISE, CO (CBSDFW.COM) – Sitting on a low hill in Wise County is a school with some very modern technology. “This is the red panic button,” says Paradise School District Superintendent Monty Chapman.
On a computer screen in Chapman’s office we see the new age Windows-based “panic button.”
On this day, Chapman is simulating an emergency in his office. He shows how the district’s new software ‘COPsync 911’ works. A click on a computer icon and the system alerts the five closest police officers to the school.
We see the call go out to the nearest squad car. Inside, an officer looks at a computer screen. “Here are all of our units that are around.” says Chapman.
At a near-by command center, Wise County Sheriff David Walker is looking at another computer screen. “This is a test alert from the Paradise’s Superintendent’s Office” says Walker.
Sheriff Walker explains how the new program instantly opens communication between emergency personnel and the school. “My responding officers can chat with the teacher, superintendent or whoever set the alarm off.”
The software also sends a floor plan of the school to the first responders and shows where the emergency is located withing the building. The message is then sent to every employee of the school via computer and smart phone.
“I like to know the police know what is going on in our school” said eighth grader Kaitlyn Robinson who just learned about the program at her school, Paradise Junior High.
Her mom Kim Robinson says decreasing response time increases her comfort. “I think if everybody is on the same page, it cuts down time.”
COPsync 911 is a Dallas-based company that began rolling-out the new system in April.
Ron Woessner who runs COPsync 911 says his idea was born out of the need for immediate and accurate information following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy after it was determined it took 6 minutes for police to be dispatched to the scene. In that event – in 6 short minutes, gunman Adam Lanza had time to roam the halls, shoot teachers, staff and children.
“With Cop Sync 911 that response delay is eliminated,” says Woessner.
The program is expected to cost the district $2,400 the first year, after installation. Chapman says it then has an annual cost of $1,200 to the district.
Woessner says Paradise School District is one of six-schools committed to the program and that nearly two-dozen are now considering using it.
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