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Every Pinellas County public school now equipped with ALERT safety system

Technology gives law enforcement critical info in emergency
Pinellas Co Schools ALERT safety system WFTS 1.png
Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 18:36:14-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla.  — Every public school campus in Pinellas County has new, potentially life-saving technology in place.

The system is called ALERT (Active Law Enforcement Response Technology). The hope is that the technology will allow law enforcement to respond faster and more efficiently during a campus emergency.

When a teacher or administrator at a school activates a panic button, either via a physical button on campus or via their phone in the Saferwatch app, law enforcement officers get real-time remote access to a school’s cameras, door locking system and public announcement system.

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The ALERT system was designed by security company IntraLogic Solutions. The changes are part of Alyssa’s law, named after Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old girl who was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. The law is aimed at ensuring every school is equipped with panic alarms that notify law enforcement the second that there’s a threat.

Pinellas County Schools Police Chief Luke Williams has helped to lead the district’s implementation of hundreds of safety upgrades. He took office just two weeks after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“What I would tell the parents is that there is not a day that goes by where we are not looking to make sure the systems we have in place are up and working,” he elaborated.

“It provides law enforcement with eyes and ears into a school during a crisis,” added Keith Drummond, IntraLogic Solution’s CEO.

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Yet, Chief Williams knows that technology can only do so much. He says his team of school resource officers and deputies are trained to act fast in an emergency.

“My team is told that we don’t wait around. My team is told if you have an issue going in and rescuing a child or saving a child or addressing the issue that’s putting our students and staff in danger, that I wouldn’t have a problem if you decide to quit right now because when I need you I’m going to need you and need you to be decisive in your actions,” he said with conviction.

Williams knows their actions could save lives when seconds count.