PSJA enhances communication with police

As the country continues to see more and more threats to public safety, local law enforcement officials and school districts are taking action.

Providing a safe education to 32,000 students is no easy task and that TMs why PSJA ISD and local police departments are using 21st century technology to improve police response time.

"Anything can happen anytime, anywhere, PSJA ISD superintendent Dr. Daniel King said. On a public street, in a theater, in a church, a school, someone's home and so all we can do is be prepared as we possibly can.

The district along with the police departments from the cities of Pharr, Alamo and San Juan are integrating the COPSYNC911 program, the nation's largest law enforcement-real time-information sharing communication network.

While law enforcement agencies across the country have used the network over the past decade, PSJA will be the first school district in the country to use it to communicate with police.

Teachers and administrators at PSJA will be able to alert police of an emergency situation with the click of a button on their computer or tablet, which will immediately call the five closest patrol officers to the campus.

Pharr Police chief Ruben Villescas says this new technology will prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

"Technology continues to be very important and critical in public safety, in our response levels and in our preparedness and how we mitigate critical incidents in and around our communities, Villescas said.

The program immediately shares critical data with every officer tied into the network, drastically reducing response time.

"Reducing the response time will get officers to the campus faster so they can address the incident as it TMs developing so they can take care of it and stop it, Villescas said.

With the recent tragedies from Boston to Sandy Hook Elementary, COPSYNC CEO Ron Woessner says tools like COPSYNC are needed now more than ever.

Unfortunately there are crazy people that do crazy things, Woessner said. What we have here is the ability to use electronic tools, the 21st century technology to create more effective law enforcing."

The system will begin to be utilized before the school year ends and fully implemented at the start of the next school year.