A computerized emergency system from CopSync lets teachers or administrators alert police and other emergency responders to a crisis immediately, without waiting to go through a dispatch center. Arriving as an instant message to the dashboard computer system now common in police and emergency vehicles, a CopSync911 alert carries with it contextual information like the school room number (displayed on a school map) and the teacher assigned to that room, eliminating the need to dictate these details over the phone.
The software doesn't cut the dispatchers out of the process -- they get the alert at the same time and will still help coordinate a response, said Brian Frieda, chief of police in Sweetwater, Texas, who is among the first to partner with local schools to implement the software. "What we're bypassing is the phone system," he explained. The teacher or administrator doesn't need to be on 911 answering questions, he said, because many of the basic details can be pre-programmed into the system. An officer who gets the alert can then head for the school directly, alerting dispatchers that he is on his way.