Cameras, Sensors, Badges: School Security Tech Advances
The options are growing. With systems from companies such as Go-to-Green in Texas and Centegix in Georgia, among a plethora of others, schools have the tools necessary to secure their respective campuses. For Go-to-Green, which was founded and is headed by former Seal Team Six, Army Ranger and Delta Force member Ernie Williams, their goal is to provide a path to safety in the event of an emergency – whether it be natural disaster or an active shooter. The company installs LED lights, a circuit board, cameras and microphones hooked up to sensor boards and syncs it with a gunshot detection software. In the simplest of terms, when an emergency situation arises, the lights either show a steady red color or blink green, with students and staff meant to follow the green lights to safety; a blinking red and blue light identifies where a shooter is located.
“Everybody’s worried about the shooter. While he’s important, more important is getting people to safety. So we’re a pathway to safety,” Williams told Government Technology.
Within seconds of the sensors picking up a gunshot, law enforcement is informed of what the shooter looks like by way of the cameras; where the shooter is located, based on the sensors; a floor plan of the campus, provided in the installation process; the location of the shooter within that floor plan; and the location of the exits. The company has an operations center, manned by two off-duty or retired police officers, that also will physically or visually track the shooter through the cameras and will communicate with first responders as they approach to provide up-to-the-second location of the shooter, as well as the physical description, according to Williams, who said they have partnerships with schools in Texas, California, Arizona, Utah, Alabama and Florida.
While Go-to-Green has an approach that ushers students and staff toward paths to safety, Centegix works with badges that teachers can press for different levels of emergency events. The IoT platform is centered on these badges, worn on a lanyard, with a computer chip inside that each school district employee receives. The badge allows an employee to quickly and discreetly call for help without the aid of any additional device such as a phone or an app.