Innovation, Technology Can Help Keep Schools Safe
By Rep. Al Landis (R-Dover)
March 21, 2013
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Last month marked one year since the tragic events at Chardon High School that took the lives of three students. We all mourned for our fellow Ohioans during that terrible time, and it was certainly an eye-opener for many of us that events like that can happen anywhere.

The issue of school safety is demanding the attention of people throughout the country. I recently met with Ben Fierman, President of Lauren Innovations based out of New Philadelphia, Ohio. He brought to my attention a new system that has been made available to school districts in Tuscarawas, Carroll, Harrison and Belmont counties that would aide first responders in reacting to emergencies at elementary and high schools.

NaviGate Prepared would provide first responders and local law enforcement with valuable information, such as access to live video feeds from cameras inside the schools, floor plans emergency response plans and contact information. This information would not only allow for more precision, but also more speed, in reacting to emergencies on school premises.

Additionally, by providing up-to-the-minute information to our qualified first responders, school districts would not solely be bound by emergency response plans, which can become obsolete before the ink dries. In today’s age of advanced technology, we should try to use it as much as possible to do good and to help us make more-educated decisions.

There is currently legislation moving through the Ohio House of Representatives that addresses the issue of school safety. House Bill 8, which was introduced at the beginning of this year, is based largely on the ideas and feedback from people all over Ohio. On an issue of such magnitude, we want to give every idea an opportunity to be heard and discussed.

There are many factors to consider when tackling the issue of school safety, but our number one priority must always be to secure the safety of our children, teachers and administrators.

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