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Pasco schools to get new emergency response system for employees

Workers will be able to access the system from their smart phones or computers.

As part of ongoing efforts to make schools safer, the Pasco County school district is launching use of a new computerized system aimed at improving responses to emergencies.

The district will pay about $67,000 a year for the CrisisGo program, which will provide a quicker way for employees to report crises immediately to law enforcement and throughout the school system. They will be able to open up files on any variety of situations, such as bomb threats, review response protocols if they need to, fill in the information fields and send the details to agencies that can respond.

The application will send out alerts as needed. It also will include things like campus maps for employees and first responders, who also will have access, to help quickly locate any reported incidents.

District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said the administration had been considering the use of this program for a few years. The 2018 shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Broward County propelled the district into action, and it has been working with the company to compile all the necessary documents to create a workable model for Pasco.

Funding will come from state and federal grants directed at improving school security, made available since the Parkland shooting.

“This is what we identified as one of our priorities,” Cobbe said.

Since 2018, the district also has hired a director of school security, created a school guard program for all elementary schools, maintained its resource officer model for middle and high schools, heightened security measures at after-school events, and added new cameras and door locks as needed.

Cobbe said CrisisGo will be introduced to employees over the next few weeks and implemented during the 2019-20 school year. Employees will be encouraged but not required to use it on their own phones, and are to have it installed on their district computers.