Virginia School District Implements Mass Notification Tech

IN FORCE911 is a desktop and mobile app that allows faculty and staff at schools to launch an emergency alert in as few as 12 seconds. The alert is sent directly to dispatch, police and even officer cellphones, giving critical information about the crisis event, including the location on campus from which the alert originated.

Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and Northampton County Public Schools have installed new school safety software throughout the district. The new tech significantly reduces police response time to an emergency incident on campuses, according to Sheriff David Doughty and In Force Technology Chief Executive Officer Brandon Flanagan.

IN FORCE911 is a desktop and mobile app that allows faculty and staff at schools to launch an emergency alert in as few as 12 seconds. The alert is sent directly to dispatch, police and even officer cellphones, giving critical information about the crisis event, including the location on campus from which the alert originated.

The alert system also opens a real-time two-way chat that allows staff to give first responders more details about the threat on campus.

"With everything that was going on as far as the incidents across the country with active shooters and threats within our communities and schools, I thought this would probably be something that would be beneficial to our community," Doughty told Delmarva Now.

IN FORCE 911 aims to save time in the response to an emergency event, where every second counts.

"We recognize the need to reduce police response time to mitigate the loss of lives during a crisis. We also know that increasing communication between those experiencing the threat and law enforcement can dramatically shorten the duration of the attack," Flanagan said.

It took about a year to get everything in order to implement the software, but it’s now installed on all teachers’ laptops at the public schools and an app for smartphones will be in place early next year, according to Doughty. The software is also on mobile terminals in Sheriff’s Office vehicles and those of other county law enforcement agencies.

"If there is an intruder threat in one of our schools and this software is open and initiated, then everybody will get a text message on their phone," Doughty said. "The idea is to get as many law enforcement officers responding as quickly as possible to where the situation is — and also be able to get accurate information, to where when we get there we can go exactly, directly to where the threat is and deal with it."

In addition to school staff’s ability to send out alerts, the Sheriff’s office can also send an alert to schools in case of a threat in the community.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

Digital Edition

  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - March April 2019

    March/April 2019

    Featuring:

    • Proactive Steps in Protecting Students Using Technology
    • Securing Our Hospitals and Protecting Your Privacy
    • Leveraging a Unified Mass Notification Solution
    • From Safe Campus to Smart Campus

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