Motorola Solutions announces Safe Schools platform
Motorola Solutions this week announced Safe Schools, a platform that leverages multiple technologies—voice, data, analytics and video—into an integrated solution that is designed to make educational campuses safer and operationally more efficient.
John Zidar, senior vice president of Motorola Solutions’ global enterprise and channels business, said many technology components within Safe Schools, but the new initiative is unique in its ability to provide the capabilities in an integrated package.
“On the technology or vendor side, they [schools and school districts] have a variety of point solutions,” Zidar said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “They have solutions. They have cameras. They have radios. They have smartphones. They have databases that independently may solve a problem, but they don’t help them become operationally more efficient and more productive.”
“When you have limited staff … and you have cameras that were a point solutions that were put in years ago, when something happens, it takes a lot of time to go back and watch video. [With the Safe Schools platform, educators have] analytics and software in there that reduce [monitoring and processing] time, do stuff in real time and really prevent, predict, deter and resolve issues before they become nightly news issues, like a fight has gotten out of control, because they didn’t react fast enough.”
One of the early customers is Perry Township Schools in suburban Indianapolis. Chris Sampson, associate superintendent for Perry Township Schools, said the latest Motorola Solutions offering already is making an impact on the educational environment.
“Safe Schools gives us the ability to monitor all areas of our campus in real time, assess potential situations and respond to alerts in just a few minutes,” Sampson said in a prepared statement. “We are thankful Motorola Solutions’ state-of-the-art technology can help create a safer environment for our students, teachers and community members.”
One of the new features included in Safe Schools is called Radio Alert. When sensors detect an issue—for example, a door that is ajar and unable to be locked during school hours—an alert is sent via the MOTOTRBO DMR to school personnel in closest proximity to evaluate the situation quickly and determine the best course of action.
“In the past, if a door was ajar, it could be open all day,” Sampson said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
Zidar said that Safe Schools can integrate a host of Motorola Solution technologies, including Avigilon cameras, license-plate readers, Spillman incident management and dispatching, and the CommandCentral Aware, which can help schools locate resources and allocate them efficiently.
Of course, few school districts have the budget or time to implement all of these capabilities at once, so Safe Schools is designed to let schools introduce technologies in a phased approach, according to Zidar.
“Someone could start with something as simple as access control with Radio Alert—a two-piece solution,” he said. “It can scale as budgets get approved or as planning changes. Maybe you were going to replace the doors anyway, or the cameras you have are six years old and weather-beaten. You can plug and play and scale this as you go, which—from what we’re hearing from school districts—they really like.
“I think that often what you’ll see is that they start with one school before they go districtwide.”
This approach has application well beyond educational campuses, Zidar said.
“We’re talking today about Safe Schools, but this is actually the start of Safe … and you can fill in the blank—Safe Airports, Safe Stadiums, etc.,” Zidar said.