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Lee County Schools to begin using new security system

Posted at 7:25 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 19:25:16-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — The new school year’s almost here, and while school supplies are still top of mind for parents and guardians - school safety’s a priority for local leaders.

Last year, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 70 - also known as Alyssa’s law. Named after Parkland school shooting victim Alyssa Alhadeff, that law requires school districts to use panic alarm systems that connect schools directly to law enforcement in the event of an on-campus emergency.

The Lee County School District’s implementing its system this year.

Inside of Cape Coral High School, you’ll find your usual signs of classroom life.

But, there’s one new addition.

While it looks like a normal badge a school or district staff member might wear around their neck, we’re told it’s actually new technology that could help to save lives in the event of an emergency.

The Lee County School District is now using the Centegix Crisis Alert System - demonstrating just how it works on Wednesday.

Dean Olds is the vice president of innovation at Centegix.

He says with a few clicks of a button inside of the badge and the use of Bluetooth technology, a notification is sent to a school administrator of the exact location of the ping.

With a few more clicks, an emergency alert notifies the entire school - and law enforcement - of a severe on-campus emergency.

Using technology to keep students and staff safe isn’t a new concept.

But, local law enforcement, school administrators and those behind the system tells us the difference with this system is the response time.

Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore says the system’s ability to contact law enforcement with an exact location helps first responders to arrive on scene even sooner.

“To have the ability to know exactly where on campus cuts down on time for a peaceful or successful resolution to whatever that incident might be,” Sizemore tells FOX 4.

But as Olds says, the company behind the system tells FOX 4 that giving the devices to on-campus and district-wide staff could help in incidents even outside fo a major, on-campus emergency.

“So if they have people that is a facility’s person, they get electrocuted, they’re on site, they’re on the transportation…they also can press that button and get help immediately.”