Making Schools Safer… One CASE Blue Light Tower at a Time
Successes in Student Safety from Houston’s Cypress-Fairbanks School District
What They Needed:
There is simply no question that school safety is one of the top priorities facing local, city, county, and state governments across the country. Students, parents, and teachers alike are demanding effective answers to handling various emergencies that occur on school grounds. Recently, Houston’s Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD) made a tremendous leap forward at all school campuses in the district through the smart use of community education bond dollars – they installed CASE Blue Light Tower Emergency Communication Systems.
How CASE Responded:
50 CASE Blue Light Towers were installed in just 10 days throughout the district, typically with two installations per campus (one at the campus entrance and another at the rear of the campus – athletic field, parking lot, etc.). With the exception of a few hard-wired units that included video surveillance equipment on board, the entire project runs completely on solar power, with wireless cellular connectivity for voice and video, and caller ID and GPS location functionality, installation could be completed without disruptions to campus buildings or communication, and without additional IT or school system support necessary.
“The ability of the CASE system to be a self-contained, all-in-one solution was particularly important for this project… Because the school system was paying for this with bond dollars – essentially community money – there was a real need to show a quality system that could be delivered quickly, and function reliably for years to come. That’s something CASE products and their platform excels at in comparison to hard-wired solutions that require the extra time, expense, and inconvenience of digging trenches, getting phone companies and IT administrators involved, you name it.”
What’s Next for CASE?
One of the most interesting aspects of the CFISD project was that the $775,000 total project cost was met completely through community bonds. There was no need to wait for the state legislature to approve a budget request, nor did the school system need to request and pay for additional police officers or security personnel on campus. Schools also did not have to worry about managing its policy on the usage of personal mobile devices by students during school hours – they could continue to stand behind authorized use only limitations without any negative impact on student safety. As well, the neighborhoods surrounding school campuses (the same ones who helped fund the bonds) now may benefit from a public access emergency communication system conveniently nearby their homes, and always available even during power outages.
The CASE Blue Light Towers offer simple one-button activation of voice and video monitoring that connects to the local police and emergency dispatch center. The operator can then assess the need and deploy the necessary first responders to the scene. Scenarios in which CASE Blue Light Towers can help provide immediate response include:
Evacuations for fire, bomb threat, active shooter, or other emergencies where cell phones may be left inside or unusable
Lockdowns in which the sound of cell phones may attract the attention of school intruders, a single teacher, administrator, or security guard can activate the emergency system with a touch of a button
Athletic emergencies during Phys. Ed. or sporting events, when students and coaches have cell phones in lockers instead of close at hand
Fundraisers, pep rallies, and other events held on campus during which an emergency may occur