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School district uses ‘walkie-talkie’ system for school security

Posted: 6:05 PM, May 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-20 19:25:25-04

 

“Our average response time on a hot call here in town is about 3 minutes and 45 seconds,” said Eric Blanchard, Aransas Pass Chief of Police.

In an emergency waiting for 9-1-1 to arrive can feel like an eternity, that’s why the Aransas Pass Police Department and Aransas pass ISD are teaming up to narrow response times.

“Let’s put radios in our schools,” said Blanchard.

Two-way radios are being placed in each APISD campus as a direct line of communication between police officers and school administration.

This comes just weeks after the school shooting in Colorado. Blanchard says his goal is for his department to respond to an active shooter situation in a timely fashion before anyone gets hurt.

“In Colorado it took out the middle man being calling 9-1-1, speaking to a dispatcher, getting the information that they need and it then getting relayed to the officers on the street,” said Blanchard. “This will put them directly in contact with officers on the street.”

While there’s only one walkie-talkie per campus Blanchard says that administrators have also downloaded an app that works just like a walkie-talkie between them and the local police.

Eleven principals and vice principals have the app either on their smartphones or computers.

“That links them directly into our public safety radio too, so you use your phone like a walkie talkie,” said Blanchard.

He encourages administrators to use the radios for any emergency so they can get accustomed to it, so when the time comes, every administrator is prepared.

“If you have a kid that just took off running down the street call us on that use the radio and get familiar with the equipment,” said Blanchard.