New security system allows local educators to quickly connect with police

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 8:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - There’s new security technology coming to a local school district.

Flowing Wells will be the first in Tucson to implement this cutting-edge emergency alert system, which will allow teachers and staff to have quick and direct communication with law enforcement.

“Bringing any technologies into a school just so we can keep the kids safe is paramount,” said Pima County School Superintendent Dustin Williams.

The new school safety technology was custom designed by 911Cellular. It will be available to all staff in every classroom district-wide.

Superintendent Williams said if this new technology is successful, he hopes to bring it to more districts.

″I’d like to see the technology come across the whole county, as far as working in the infrastructure of the actual buildings in the school and then working with our partners at the Tucson Police Department and the sheriff’s department,” he said.

The technology can be used for every kind of emergency, from a simple argument that gets out of hand to an active shooter.

″I do think there’s a definite need that we did not have in the past. I think we are seeing different types of safety concerns and challenges that are unique,” Williams added.

911Cellular’s technology is used in schools and hospitals across the U.S., but this is the first in Tucson.

″What we do on a regular basis is turn regular classroom instruments into means of being able to ask for help by creating or recasting them as panic buttons,” said Chad Salahshour, CEO of 911Cellular.

Staff at Flowing Wells will have access to things like computer panic buttons, mobile app emergency sliders and physical duress buttons.

In a statement about the new tech, the district said, “Our goal in using the 911 Cellular alert system is to empower employees to be able to initiate a lockdown at their site. Using 911 Cellular also helps us ensure that all employees on site receive a notification instantly so they may follow emergency procedures as quickly as possible.”

“Having a direct connection to law enforcement in direct emergencies and being able to provide them with good data will help them do their very difficult job a lot better,” explained Salahshour.

Williams said school safety has changed a lot over the years and it can be a challenge to stay on top of it.

Technology like this could soon become standard in all schools here in the county and he hopes the state will come through with more funding to implement it.