Local police departments increasing their presence at schools to help students feel safe

TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Tewksbury Police, along with other police departments in the Boston area, are increasing their presence among schools to make kids feel safer in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Texas. There are no threats to any schools in the area, but police officers are hoping to ease any fears and greet students as they enter school.

A local software developer who works with police departments and schools created an app that teachers can use if there is a threat. It allows them to send a message to law enforcement in four seconds or less.

“The information is specific to the person who sent the alert and the classroom from where the threat originated,” said Brandon Flanagan of In Force Technology. “So we’re taking information that’s critical to the response time of law enforcement and putting it in their hands in seconds compared to what can be a typical process of a few minutes.”

Flanagan says most active shooter situations are over in about five minutes. His software tries to help law enforcement get on the scene as quickly as possible.

“So the technology reduces the time it takes for officers to get on scene and to neutralize the threat and by doing so most expeditiously we know that we can mitigate the outcome of that potential circumstance and in turn save lives,” said Flanagan.

Flanagan adds getting information out quickly especially when many jurisdictions are involved is key. He says there was a delay in getting officers inside the elementary school in Texas. There are about a dozen school districts in our area that use his technology. The safety strategy of In Force 911 involves several layers.

“Things like an option base response protocol,” said Flanagan. “Oftentimes the government-sponsored something called run hide fight there are other variations of things out there but teaching staff and students to do something as opposed to nothing is paramount to the preservation of life. In addition, technology plays a huge role in this to lock in doorways to notifying all the people in the building of a potentially deadly threat  to getting law enforcement  on scene faster.”

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