CORAL SPRINGS, FL – When a shooter walked through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and massacred students and staff in 2018, police had limited ability to track his movements and respond faster to the carnage.
New technology unveiled Thursday at a virtual news conference by Coral Springs officials will now give police better information to follow an active shooter inside a building and potentially prevent further violence if another incident happens locally.
The ALERT (Active Law Enforcement Response Technology) software is now connected between Coral Springs police and Chabad of Coral Springs and Coral Springs Charter School.
“This will help them (law enforcement) be more efficient and make the community safer,” said Andrew Pollack, whose School Safety Grant organization provided $40,000 to Coral Springs police and another $40,000 to the charter school and Jewish organization to set up the technology. Pollack’s daughter, Meadow, was killed in the high school.
Here’s how the ALERT system works, according to officials:
If someone sets off a panic alert at Coral Springs Charter School or Chabad of Coral Springs, the software will give the staff at the police department’s Real Time Crime Center the ability to see through a series of cameras where the suspect is in the building.
And through a public address system, police could speak directly to the suspect or those trapped in the building.
In addition, police, through ALERT, could lock and unlock doors to classrooms, closets and other rooms to trap the suspect or allow those stuck inside to escape.
All of this would be happening as police, paramedics, and others rush to the building to help.
“As we all know, when dealing with an active shooter, seconds matter, seconds save lives,” Coral Springs Police Chief Clyde Parry said.
There are recurring costs to using the system, said Lee Mandel, CEO of Intralogic Solutions, which developed the technology.
The upfront costs, covered by Pollack’s organization, are used to install and integrate the equipment software. To maintain the service, it would cost from $99 to $149 a month, depending on the facility. Or, at schools, the fee would be per student.
Coral Springs officials they are the first city in the nation to install the system.
The goal in Coral Springs, Parry said, is to eventually connect the system to more schools, places of worship, and businesses.
Parry said Coconut Creek police also received a grant from Pollack’s organization, and they too will be connecting the system to other organizations in the city.
In addition, officials said the technology will aim to meet the requirements of the new Alyssa’s Law, which requires panic buttons at schools to alert law enforcement to emergencies. The law is in honor of Alyssa Alhadeff, who was also killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
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