“We were awarded a grant to install and maintain the KW Campus Safety System in all of our schools at no immediate or future cost to TCSD,” said Dr. Scott Rogers, TCSD superintendent. “We are excited to be a pilot for this promising program and are anxious to test its use and effectiveness. The main goal is to improve safety and security for all students, staff, and visitors.”
Towards the end of 2018, the superintendent participated in six different listening sessions with employees where safety came out as a main concern. In addition to employee concerns, after receiving information from a community-wide survey the school district conducted in April of 2019, it was found that adding security upgrades to schools showed the highest support.
The data was presented to members of the Board of Education. In addition to building three new schools, Board members voted to add $10 million to a 2019 School Bond for safety and security upgrades in each school. The bond was not approved by voters during the November 2019 election.
The next month, the Utah State Board of Education sent out an opportunity to school superintendents for a legislative sponsored campus safety program. Rogers became immediately interested and wanted to learn more about how this could be implemented in TCSD.
The KnowWhere Campus Safety and Emergency Management System integrates indoor geospatial information with threat sensors and imaging to give school’s the ability to know where students, visitors, employees and volunteers are on campus, identify threats early, and provide actionable information to first responders in an emergency.
The new technology operates in coordination with a school’s existing security cameras and automated doors. School resource officers will also have access to the KnowWhere Campus Security System on their own devices. With the smart technology, the system will automatically call 911 if there are shots fired in a building or if smoke is detected, alarming people of a fire.
With any new technology, there is a concern for student and employee privacy. The school district has been given assurances that this system has complied with all data privacy requirements and applicable state and federal laws.
“Our main interest has been the ability to detect unsafe objects like guns or knives that are in the parking lots or in a building. It has the ability to shorten the time for law-enforcement response and to pinpoint where the risk is in the building,” said Rogers. “This should result in quicker response time since more information will be available to emergency responders.”