Sarasota turns to technology to improve school safety

No matter where your child goes to school, there's a concern parents like Crystal Tasco share. 

"When she’s in the care of the teachers or all the individuals, whoever it is, that they will be kept safe at all times," said Tasco. 

Keeping kids and school staff safe could be as simple as opening up an app on your phone. 

"I think that would be amazing. When you have an emergency situation it really is a matter of seconds sometimes," continued Tasco. 

Chief Tim Enos with the Sarasota County Schools Police Department said it really is that easy. 

"We know that the seconds and the minutes matter in saving lives. We want them to have that access at all times," he said. 

Chief Enos is working to bring an app called the Rave Panic Button with Mutual Link. It would give all staff members direct access to call for a school lockdown. 

"No matter where they are. It works off of wifi .They can push the button to the get the alerts. It also dials into 911 to get our first responders en route," said Chief Enos. 

The app will save valuable seconds and help staff make sure students are safe while reporting an emergency. 

"You may have a custodian that’s outside that’s doing grounds and see something suspicious. They may see that and identify a student or a person that’s a potential risk that they can immediately use that application to lock down the school," he continued. 

On top of that, the district is working to secure new technology that will monitor social media for threats and key phrases like school names. It's new tools to make sure students are kept safe at all times. 

"It comes back to the safety of the staff and the students is always paramount," added Chief Enos.