With the recent attention on law enforcement there has been an increase in the desire of communities to change the way police interact with citizens. Minneapolis recently voted to disband the current policing system and attempt a transformation to a more civic minded approach. New York City is looking to cut more than a billion from the police budget. Denver public schools has cancelled all the assigned SROs across the district. As these measures impact police agencies across the country there will be a pull back by police administrators to reign in less essential officers. This could directly impact the number of school resource officers available to work within the schools. Other communities with strong opinions of the police are starting to demand police be removed from schools altogether. This inevitably will lead to a perception that are schools are less safe. Schools across the country have operated without SROs for years, but most have taken proactive steps to increase the security within those schools.
Removing police from schools might accomplish political and societal objectives at the expense of security. As administrators balance the different ideological goals it is important to remember that on site security personnel is not the only solution. Impowering staff and enhancing notification is a cost effective and simple solution that can accomplish the same objective. All staff need to have the ability to make a simple notification that will immediately alert emergency responders while at the same time notifying building occupants of a hostile intruder. They should also have the necessary response options in the form of classroom protection and trauma response in the event an attack occurs. Police officers in the building have not completely prevented intruders from harming students and staff in the past but a quick response by local police is still needed. Removal of these officers will reduce the perception of security, but this can easily be replaced with a notification and response system that is directly connected to local responders.
It is understood that an officer in the building has a direct cost to the school or police agency. Salaries, vehicles and equipment are recurring costs that must be budgeted for in order to have a police presence. A replacement notification and response system is a one time expense. The cost savings is a benefit while at the same time having the ability to empower teachers is a positive improvement to security. Students will see that a system exists for quick lock down. Teachers and staff will be trained on response. Parents will be informed of the new security and ability to quickly obtain a building lockdown while simultaneously alerting responders to the exact location of the crisis in the school. Adding an alert system can easily off set the loss of an on site officer while increasing the benefit to the students, staff and responders.
SAFEDEFEND™ is a system that fundamentally changes the response to school threats. With the touch of a finger we can alert police, notify building occupants, and provide accurate information exactly where in the building the threat is taking place. Responding officers are given exact room, hallway, building, and address information so they know where to go once inside. Staff are informed where the threat is so they can avoid that area and make the best decision to barricade or exit. Saving lives is based on quick notification to everyone.