Those are the powerful words of Lori Alhadeff, while advocating for Alyssa’s Law, which would be named after her daughter who died during the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
Those words are also the motivation behind the CENTEGIX CrisisAlert platform, which is now implemented and active in every one of Hillsborough County’s public schools.
CrisisAlert enables any teacher or staff member to easily summon help by clicking the button on the badge. “Easily” is the operative word. Activating CrisisAlert can be done without downloading an app, or worrying about WiFi or satellite GPS. It’s as simple as pressing a button on their badge—which, as you can imagine—is imperative when under stress or duress.
“We have more than 25,000 employees… we have just made them, through this technology, a force multiplier to be able to identify a threat” said John Newman, Hillsborough Schools’ Chief of Security and Emergency Management. “And by activating the card, whether it be staff alert or crisis alert, we’re going to be able to communicate that so we can take action in those precious few seconds when a threat is coming onto one of our campuses.”
Hillsborough County Public Schools leads the nation in being proactive about this type of technology. As Chief Newman explains, our district began searching for this type of system months before Governor Ron DeSantis signed Alyssa’s Law in July 2020. Alyssa’s Law mandates that all public and charter schools in the state must install panic buttons that directly alert law enforcement and first responders of emergencies.
That’s precisely what CENTEGIX does. And now, every school in our district has it.
“Historically we’ve had to use the telephone, press a button in our classrooms to call the main office… That is no longer an opportunity we can afford,” explained Superintendent Addison Davis. “Every second matters in our schools for our students and employees. CENTEGIX allows every one of our employees to push the button to be able to signify an immediate issue or emergency.”
Chief Newman puts it simply, “It’s a game changer in school security.”