Blount County to Install Security System in School, Government Buildings

All middle and high school teachers will be given a personalized, wearable panic button with mapping capabilities.

Blount County to Install Security System in School, Government Buildings

Officials in Blount County, Tenn., are working to install a new security system software in all of its school and government buildings to help cut down on incident response time.

Using Status Solution‘s Situational Awareness Response Assistant (SARA), the county will be able to tie together security cameras, emergency alerts and 911-center access to pinpoint what exact emergency is happening where and which agency should respond, WBIR reports.

It is designed to work with existing systems, such as fire panels and door alarms, and to be customized as to who receives alerts and in what form, including by phone, two-way radio, text messages and a public address system.

“Unfortunately in the world we live in today — it’s not if, it’s when something’s going to happen, and to give our first responders the tools they need to keep us safe, that’s what this is all about,” said Don Stallions, Director of General Services for the Blount County Government.

Every middle and high school teacher will be given a personalized, wearable panic button at a cost of around $160 each. Each button will be registered to a specific teacher and have mapping capabilities. Elementary school teachers can use their computer keyboards as panic buttons.

When pushed, the button will also show the 911 center live cameras at the school, which will help first responders determine what kind of emergency is occurring.

The Blount County school board unanimously approved funding for the $468,000 purchase — more than half of which will come from state safe schools grants.

The board plans to use nearly $209,000 from its fund balance, according to The Daily Times. The county is expected to chip in about $29,000.

Some county government offices already have similar panic buttons in place, but the new software and mapping technology will be installed.

While county offices won’t initially have duress buttons, Stallions said the plan is to have the SARA system at the courthouse, Justice Center, Operations Center, probation office, animal center and public library.

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her son and her dog.

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