WACO (July 25, 2013) -- Waco ISD board members approved new school safety measures at Thursday night’s meeting that will cost $43,664 to install and service in its first year.
Board members agreed and voted to install COPsync, a networking service that allows Waco ISD Police and school campuses within the district to directly communicate with just the click of a button.
The decision to implement such a service was discussed following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut last December.
“What happened at sandy hook made people a lot more apprehensive about school safety than they normally would have been in the past," Waco ISD Chief of Police Ken Boatman said.
“When we look at school safety, we look at everything we're doing to make sure we have a system that works."
The software will be installed in all of Waco ISD’s 24 campuses and their administration building.
COPsync is used by a handful of school districts and police departments in Texas. The software can be accessed by either a computer or a mobile device.
Since the software allows police and school officials to communicate directly, it will shorten response times tenfold.
“It is a real time alert system that will enable people to alert us in our cars, at our police station, on our phones, or wherever we may be when an emergency situation is happening at our schools," Boatman said.
COPsync will be available to teachers, school employees, and administrators within the district.
The accessibility will give anyone the opportunity to report an emergency at a moment’s notice.
Boatman says that COPsync also sends a floor plan of the school if an emergency is reported. On that floor plan shows where the emergency was sent.
"If anyone has a situation where they feel the school needs to be locked down, they can go wherever they're at, type they have an emergency situation, and in seconds we’ll receive it,” Boatman said.
Boatman said that COPsync should be installed before the upcoming school year.