The Examiner

P’ville Police Bring New Warning System to School District

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The Pleasantville School District will be the first school system in New York State to have a rapid-response 911 system, courtesy of the Pleasantville Police Benevolent Association (PBA).

Donation of the system was announced at the Feb. 9 Board of Education meeting, where school officials were joined by several Pleasantville PBA members, including its new president Sgt. Sam Caccamise, who presented the district with a certificate marking the donation.

The program, COPsync911, is produced by COPsync of Danvers, Mass.

Superintendent of Schools Mary Fox-Alter said the program gives the district an added resource in dispensing aid to students in case of an emergency.

The real-time emergency communications program, which can be used on a variety of technology including laptops, smartphones and tablets, can assist in many different situations, including weather- and health-related emergencies, she said.

“It’s a communication protocol in real time between the school district and our emergency responders,” Fox-Alter said. “It has the ability to give IP-based locations and the ability to look at all the buildings’ (layout) diagrams and communicate to everyone who is enrolled in the system what is taking place in real time.”

For instance, in the event of a fire in a science lab, the system would not only locate where the fire is, but could view information being transmitted in real time by teachers in the classroom that could aid responders.

The program also has the capability to alert the five closest law enforcement officers to the school with the push of one button.

Fox-Alter said she had been impressed by the product when a demonstration was given and was grateful for the PBA’s help in obtaining the program.

“I certainly appreciate and respect this incredible collaboration we have with our local police department, and that’s exemplified by the fact that the PBA voted to spend their own money on this product for our district,” she said.

The program’s implementation will begin in April at the district’s three schools. It can operate on the schools’ Internet infrastructure, classroom voice communication systems or a wireless network, Fox-Alter said.

Lt. Jesse Wollman helped acquire the COPsync911 system through the PBA for the district after requesting a demonstration with other department members. Copsync911 is already in school districts in several states, including every school district in New Hampshire, thanks to a Department of Homeland Security grant.

“We’re not the first in the country, but we are the first in this state,” Wollman said.

Pleasantville PBA members voted unanimously to donate the system to the school for the first year of the service, he said. The district and police department will have to pay for the service after the first year.

Wollman said he did not have the exact donation amount, which is still being processed. Quotes for the initial purchase of COPsync and annual service can only be obtained through company sales associates. Regardless of the cost, Wollman said the purchase is worth it even if it’s used just once.

“We hope we never have to use it, but if we do, we’ll be happy that we have it,” he said.




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