The world our kids live in today is vastly different than the one we remember from growing up. Things, like playing outside unsupervised or walking to school alone, are no longer a big part of childhood. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen as a society is the need to feel more secure, especially when danger can happen anywhere, at any time.
For schools across the country, having an action plan in times of crisis has historically been a big concern. How can you improve the safety of students and faculty when an armed intruder enters school premises?
The Hero911 Network and Guard911 started as two ideas to improve the response time of law enforcement in the event of school shootings. Our team at Swip Systems worked with law enforcement officers to design and build two mobile applications; one for teachers and faculty to notify police officers (Guard911) and one to notify law enforcement officers of in-school emergencies (Hero911). In addition, we utilized custom web development to create a fully functional site to manage the services.
Our software engineers learned that in some cases, a conventional phone call to 911 took nearly a minute and a half before police could respond to a school shooting. This was due to routing the call to the proper authorities and notifying nearby officers.
To speed officer response time to these incidents, we created the Guard911 and Hero911 apps. This included:
- A one-touch panic button in the Guard911 app that notifies all on and off-duty police officers within a given proximity of a school shooting.
- Simultaneously speed dialing 911 and sending emergency notifications to all other faculty and staff in the school with Guard911 installed, with geo-data showing the location of the initial alert.
- Instantaneously alerting officers through the Hero911 app that are in close proximity to a school shooting and displaying the mapped address and count of officers responding to the app.
- A customized web portal for school officials to use to sign up for and manage their Guard911 account.
- Customized web services that provide a secure vetting process to approve all law enforcement access the to the Hero911 app. Law enforcement officers approve all submissions.
The positive response to both applications has been overwhelming. Numerous schools and law enforcement officials around the country have adopted the technology with open arms, downloading and installing Hero911 and Guard911 on their mobile devices. New and media coverage has also been amazing. All in all, a brilliant idea to help officers intervene more quickly if a school shooting does occur.