NAMPA -- Staff members at Skyview High School in Nampa recently tested the school's new security badge technology meant to dramatically increase response times to emergenices on campus.
The small electronic badges are worn by teachers and are able to send an emergency alert to police via the push of a button.
For Monday’s drill, the school randomly picked a student to activate a teacher's security badge and test the response time. After that, the school's resource officer went into action just like he would in an emergency.
THE LOCKDOWN DRILL
Just after 1 p.m. a lockdown threat came in from Room S102, an English classroom. The teacher's special badge sent out a call for help, signaling for a schoolwide lockdown and police to come fast.
Once the school is in lockdown anyone who is wearing a badge sees a message, so they know what to do.
As the staff badges flashed and told them to go on lockdown, KTVB watched the system's computerized map to see School Resource Officer Brad Ford head right for the English classroom.
"From the time I pulled it, to the time the announcement went off, it was probably 15 seconds. And then less than a minute before Officer Ford walked in, so it was very fast," said senior Toby Anderson, who actually activated the alarm.
After the drill, the assessment was an 'A+' for reaction time.
"By the time we got back there, it was 15, 20 seconds," Ford told Nampa Police Chief Craig Kingsbury.
"We were able to see that the pull had come from S102 right here. So then, I just made my approach and at the same time contacted dispatch, because they're watching the same screen in dispatch," Ford said.
"There's no waiting. There's no explaining. You're not going to lose precious seconds trying to justify why you need help. Help's just going to come," Kingsbury said.
BADGES ALREADY PROVING USEFUL
The teacher whose class was in the demonstration has actually already used the badges in a real emergency and says she's very impressed and feels safer at school.
“I actually used it a week ago for a health emergency that happened in my class, and they came really quick for that too. So this is actually the second time I was able to use it, and it was really fascinating," said English teacher Terri Bentley.
Bentley says she was attacked after school years ago, and this system is something she says would have been valuable then too.
Kingsbury is using Skyview's system to show police departments around the state in hopes of getting it into every Idaho school.
The system costs around $25,000. Skyview's badge system was funded by a private donor.