MCPSS security system alerts schools to emergencies with the push of a button

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – As the new school year begins, the Mobile County Public School System says it is doing what it can to keep all of its students and staff safe during the school day.

They are extending one of their safety programs to all schools in the district. The program is called Crisis Alert, it’s basically a button that school staff wear around their necks. With the push of a button, they can alert the whole school to an emergency in seconds.

As students return to their classrooms in Mobile County, the school district is doing what it can to keep them safe.

“For years, we have done everything in our power to ensure that our campuses are as safe as possible from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. From the moment their kids walk into this campus, we do everything, said Andy Gatewood, director of safety and security for Mobile County Public Schools.

Crisis Alert can immediately alert the whole school in an emergency. A message will sound on the intercom, the message will also appear on computer and phone screens, and a strobe light will flash with a specific color.

“There are a lot of automatic things happening, with strobes flashing certain colors, automatic messages on computer screens, intercom messages and things like that. Which allows us to move much faster than we would if we had to try to alert everyone,” Gatewood said.

The staff presses the button around their neck the number of times it is pressed corresponds to the situation occurring. Whether it’s a message to administrators about a sick student or that the school should be closed. They can do this from anywhere on campus.

“If a guard or CNP employee or teacher for that matter is off campus and sees something suspicious or an intruder or something like that, they can put the school on lockdown from their position there, and not having to go to the office and make an intercom announcement and go through the process which will take a lot longer than if they could just do it from their badge,” Gatewood said.

The school system says the time it takes to inform the whole school is crucial.

“The sooner we can do it and lock the doors and get the kids in place and the staff in place, the better,” Gatewood said.

The school system’s goal is to install Crisis Alert in all of its schools by the end of this school year.

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