New Feature Allows Staff and Students to Report Emergencies Directly to Law Enforcement and Helps Schools Meet the Recommendations in Alyssa’s Law
The Washington Post reported 14 school shootings between March and June 2021 despite pandemic-related school closures. As more classrooms re-open for in-person instruction, student safety and mental health remain top concerns. To help in situations where there is an immediate emergency, Vector Solutions, the leading provider of training and software solutions to help schools make their operations and communities safer, smarter and better, has updated its Vector LiveSafe Tip Reporting and Safety Communications Platform to add a silent panic alarm feature, allowing users to immediately report emergencies directly to authorities. The panic alarm helps schools meet the recommendations in Alyssa’s Law, named after Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the 17 victims killed during the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The law requires schools to implement mobile panic alarms that go directly to law enforcement in case of immediate emergencies such as an active shooter situation.
“Keeping schools and students safe requires constant vigilance and technology necessary for administrators, staff and students to communicate emergencies immediately, and to the right people,” said Vector Solutions CEO Marc Scheipe. “Our Vector LiveSafe platform and new silent panic alarm feature help schools do this and support our mission of helping to make schools and communities safer, smarter, and better.”
Vector LiveSafe is an advanced tip reporting and safety communication platform for organizations, including schools. Students can quickly report safety concerns directly through their Vector LiveSafe smartphone app – anything from bullying, to concerns about a friend or classmate’s mental health, to an emergency situation. The new silent panic alarm feature in the app allows the user, with one touch, to send an alert to law enforcement. It provides the user’s location without them having to type or say anything.
Parents can use the Vector LiveSafe SafeWalk feature to receive notifications to assure them their child has made it to or from school safely. Staff members can use it to broadcast messages to employees or students about safety incidents.
Additional features of LiveSafe include:
- Anonymous tip reporting – Students and staff members can input tips anonymously directly into the Vector LiveSafe platform online or via the mobile app. Schools customize the platform and tips are classified into one of more than 200 categories such as “bullying,” “diversity & inclusion concerns,” or “facilities and maintenance.” Users can attach photos or videos and intelligent routing ensures tips are sent to the proper department.
- Emergency options and resources – Users can quickly access 911 or school safety officials, who can leverage location data in an emergency. School emergency procedures are posted in the app and are available with or without internet access.
- SafeWalk – Keeps users safe as they travel to and from school by allowing them to invite up to three people to virtually accompany them to their destinations. SafeWalk sends check-in messages to the user and alerts their virtual companions or authorities if the person does not check in at their final destination on time.
- Broadcast and check-in messaging – School administrators can set up scheduled messages and send push notifications to let staff know what is happening at schools or to alert them of emergencies in progress.
- Cloud-based command dashboard – Administrators can manage all incoming and outgoing communications, including tips, broadcasting, and check-in messaging using the cloud-based command dashboard.
- Real-time analytics – Analytics and reports about tip submissions and platform usage provide actionable data on the nature of incidents, allowing districts to make data-driven policy decisions to reduce future incidents.
Vector LiveSafe, created by Virginia Tech shooting survivor and campus safety advocate Kristina Anderson, is just one example of the resources Vector Solutions provides to support student safety and wellness. Vectory also offers Student Safety and Wellness courses on topics such as bullying, suicide and digital citizenship; training and compliance courses for staff members; and resources such as whitepapers and webinars to help teachers and administrators deal with issues of student mental health and trauma stemming from the pandemic.