More than 100 people were killed or injured in school shootings in the U.S. in 2018, the worst year on record for gun violence in schools.
One area police department will be looking to use police radios and smart phones to help protect and serve their community schools.
One of the simplest and most affordable ways to help schools during a crisis is by putting a two-way police radio inside every school.
“I thought that is an incredible creative idea to do. Put a police radio on every campus, get the school staff used to using that police radio wherever they need to call for an officer for regular activities, and then in a chance of a crisis or a serious situation, you have ears and eye on scene immediately,” said Aransas Pass Police Chief Eric Blanchard.
Aransas Pass Police Chief Eric Blanchard is a big believer in the police presence in the community and in schools, but they can’t be everywhere, but thanks to evolving technologies, that will change.
“On top of that, we took it one step further. We have a software radio that we use for some of our administrative staff and stuff like that. I felt, well, why don’t we give every principal, maybe even the vice principal and some other administrators, part of our school security team, and give them access to that software app, but we will also give them access to our emergency police radio over their smart device,” said Blanchard.
This connection will allow school staff to broadcast an emergency directly to police and help speed up response time, to allow officers to get to the scene quickly.
“If we can put the school officials in direct contact with the officers responding to their location, take out the middle man, it is a win-win for all parties involved,” said Blanchard.
Campus safety is a critical issue across the country, and the Aransas Pass police department wants to play an active role to keep their schools safe.
“There is no such thing as over preparation because in the time of an event, you are going to think you didn’t plan enough no matter how much planning you put into your situation. This is just another attempt at working with our schools and our community to keep our kids, school staff, and our community safe,” said Blanchard.
Blanchard says he could have not completed the project without the partnership of Dailey-Wells and Tango Tango. Without their just-under $20,000 contribution, the Aransas Pass police department would not have the safety tool in the hands of their school personal to keep them and their students safe.