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

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Small fire breaks out at haunted house in Everett

Plastic that was supposed to be noncombustable was sitting next to a hot lightbulb.

Rules of the road for ‘extra-fast pedestrians’ — skateboarders

State traffic law defines them as pedestrians, and yet they are often in the middle of the street.

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

City of Everett to give $400K to a nonprofit housing project

The city expects to enter a contract with HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Some damage undone: Thousands of heroin needles removed

Hand Up Project volunteers cleaned up a patch of woods that some of them had occupied near Everett.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Most Read