APS to launch $7.3M emergency alert system
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Superintendent Scott Elder said the Albuquerque Public Schools board recently signed off on a $7.3 million crisis alert system.
The funding will be spent over five years on the system. APS will use federal pandemic relief for the first year and capital funds for the rest of the contract.
During a drill last fall, the district discovered teachers struggled to get help when dealing with a problem on campus. APS eventually found Centegix and its crisis alert system to address that.
HOW IT WORKS
School staff will get crisis alert badges that must be worn at all times while on campus. A staff member can click their badge and that action will share where on campus an emergency is.
If there’s a fight, a medical emergency or another incident that requires help, a staff member would click the badge three times.
Then, the badge will vibrate briefly to let a staff member know someone received their signal. An administrator or someone designated by the school will then get the call and respond.
If there’s an active shooter situation or a similar emergency, a staff member would click the badge continuously. Then, that would automatically trigger a schoolwide lockdown where strobes would flash and a lockdown announcement would be activated. The system would also alert school officials and police of the emergency.
The company says the badges will work at any school anywhere on any campus. It runs off of its own network, not Wi-Fi or a cell network, as well.
According to APS, the alerts will also be monitored at a centralized location.
Since 2016, APS says they’ve spent $39.8 million on various security systems, including cameras, alarms, and door locks.