Texas A&M San Antonio Updates Security Tech to Cut Down on Response Time
“When you're talking about an active shooter situation or medical emergency, you're talking about situations where a second saves lives,” Assistant Chief Roger Stearns said.
- By Jessica Davis
- January 11, 2019
During the last few months, Texas A&M San Antonio’s campus police department has been updating its security technology to improve campus safety.
The department has installed beacons in all the university buildings and on each floor, Assistant Chief Roger Stearns told KENS5. Stearns said the beacons aren’t cameras but can identify the precise location of a student or staff member in an emergency situation.
“When you're talking about an active shooter situation or medical emergency, you're talking about situations where a second saves lives,” Stearns said.
At the beginning of last semester, the A&M Police Department deployed an app called Safezone. Students, faculty or staff can use the app to alert the dispatcher in case of an emergency.
Police are then able to use a 3-D view of the buildings on campus to see the exact location of where the app user is on campus, with enough detail to determine the floor, hallway or even in which room of the building they’re located.
Stearns said he’s particularly excited about the new system because it cuts down on officer response time.
“In older style safety apps, you'll get the G.P.S coordinates,” Stearns said. “We would have to check multiple floors to make sure that we were in the right location if we were responding to an incident."
The Safezone app allows dispatch to see exactly where an app user is and where officers are as they respond to the emergency.
“We know where our resources are, and are able to better direct police and citizen first responders as to how to respond and help with an incident,” Stearns said.
Stearns clarified that the app doesn’t keep an eye on student activity, just allows them to check-in or alert police to an emergency.
“Law enforcement needs to make sure that we're being as accessible as possible to the community and to do so in a way that they communicate,” Stearns said.
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.