County schools get grants to beef up security

EVERETT — With school safety increasingly in the news, eight Snohomish County public districts are installing new systems to ensure classrooms and offices can communicate with law enforcement in times of emergency.

A new law requires the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to make grants available to districts to pay for the installation of digital tools for communication and surveillance. The districts had discretion as to what to buy, but all in Snohomish County have chosen a system offered by Framingham, Massachusetts-based Rave Mobile Safety.

The Rave system consists of software for computers and smartphones as well as cameras and direct links to police departments and 911 call centers.

OSPI is giving nearly $7 million to 80 school districts statewide after the Legislature in 2013 passed a bill requiring districts to implement “emergency response systems using evolving technology to expedite the response and arrival of law enforcement in the event of a threat or emergency at a school.”

The Everett School District will use its grant of $800,000 to install the Rave system, establish other new security measures and train the staffs of 26 schools.

Other school districts receiving the grants were Monroe ($41,880), Arlington ($34,992), Lakewood ($23,328), Snohomish ($66,096), Stanwood-Camano ($34,216) and Sultan ($15,552). All the districts plan to have the new systems installed during the coming school year.

Rave’s system allows first responders and law enforcement officers to have instant access to school maps, live communication with school personnel and real-time camera surveillance.

In Everett, the Rave system will include “panic button” software on faculty phones and computers.

Three law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction in the sprawling Everett School District: the Everett Police Department, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Mill Creek Police Department. Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Molly Ringo says the Rave Mobile Safety system makes it possible for them all to receive emergency information simultaneously.

“One of the best outcomes of this grant application is how it brought together all of the law enforcement and emergency responders to work on one goal,” Ringo said.

The Everett School District plans to retire an existing security camera system.

Cameras will be located at exterior doors, in corridors, common spaces, parking lots, sports fields and student gathering places outside schools. They will not be in bathrooms, locker rooms or classrooms.

Besides secondary and primary schools, Rave Mobile Safety serves 1,000 college campuses across the country.

Brenna Holland: 425-339-5350; bholland@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Police looking for Lynnwood bank robber

The robber did not flash a weapon to the teller at a U.S. Bank.

Employee threats caused lockdown at Arlington elementary

Arlington Police said all students and staff were.

Sirens! Flashing lights! — Move over!

We are a confident bunch on what to do when we hear… Continue reading

Marysville quits fire-department merger talks

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

Everett marchers: ‘There’s too much to protest’ for one sign

About 150 people joined the “March to Impeach” from the waterfront to a county courthouse rally.

Food stuffs for a local chapter of A Simple Gesture at Fitness Evolution, the communal pick-up point, in Arlington on Jan. 12. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
In it together in Arlington

A new program makes it more convenient to collect items for the food bank.

Former councilman files second lawsuit

Ron Gipson is suing Snohomish County claiming he suffered racial discrimination.

Most Read