LISD has acquired a non-lethal security technology at no cost to taxpayers!
LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Longview Independent School District has acquired a non-lethal security technology administrators say they hope they never need, and taxpayers aren't paying one red cent.
Longview is among several educational institutions that plans to use a new security device from Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Guardian 8 called the ProV2. It's a handheld device that provides at least three steps to diffuse tense situations on campus.
"Here in Longview, they (school trustees) really didn't want to go there with concealed carry. It creates a lot of liability. It creates the liability of having a teacher making that call of whether I need to utilize this weapon or not," Assistant Superintendent Jody Clements said. "The Pro V2 is a non-lethal way of addressing some of those areas."
Guardian 8 has given Longview ISD 10 of the devices at no cost, in hopes it inspires other East Texas districts to consider the product. The devices normally cost between $350 and $500 each. The nearest school district using them is Dallas ISD.
Steve Cochennet, CEO of Guardian 8 says, "The debate about the appropriateness of guns on school campuses is on everyone's mind right now. We have a new protocol call to help address the onsite active shooter school situation. However, there are far more violent, non-fatal, incidences that happen in schools across the nation every day. Those children and their parents deserve to know that our school systems are doing everything they can do to protect our young people. Addressing all levels of victimization is why the Pro V2 device was implemented into these pilot programs. Through this non-lethal device, we can see a day when every school security officer will have a Pro V2 on his or her duty belt. This new technology offers a new safe and effective level of security, reconfirming that school systems across the country are taking student safety very seriously."
When someone encounters a problem or intruders, they can press a button on Pro V-2. It instantly emits a laser light, begins video and audio recording of the scene, and uses Bluetooth technology to call administrators or 911.
"And one of the things that we were trained is that the first thing you do is say, 'You are being recorded. Everything you say and do is being recorded, '" Clements said.
If that doesn't work, step two is lights and sirens.
"We're hoping, by doing that, that it will stop the situation, that it will alert people hearing and seeing that that things are going to stop, so we can get the situation under control," Clements said.
There's also a third step: pepper spray.
Clements said, "Now, is it for every situation? No. Would it help you with that person who brings a gun on campus that is trying to utilize it? Probably not as well as a person with a weapon is carrying, but we just felt like that was some place Longview didn't really want to go. We felt like this was kind of an intermediate area.
"Our (school resource) officers, if they're available, they're going to take charge. They have a weapon. They have Tasers and things available to them, and if they're on campus, that makes it available to them. If they're not, though, we want to provide an opportunity for our administrators, our folks, whoever we decide is going to utilize this device, to have something they can use to help in a situation that occurs. There are many times when we have ballgames where we have a gym that's open, and people are welcome to come in from our community and other communities. Normally, we have security at those, and hopefully, we never have to utilize any of those things, but the situation can always arise. I had a situation when I was a superintendent one time, where we had some outsiders come into a gymnasium where students were practicing, looking for some kids. No security officers were around, we had one coach there, we had administrators in the building, but there was a huge fight that broke out. This would have been a great tool that they could have used, had they had it available to them, to be able to protect our students and try to get these intruders out of the building at the time."
Clements remembered an incident several years ago when he was superintendent at another school district. He said a group of kids from another district entered a school gymnasium to pick a fight with local students.
"No security officers were around, we had one coach there, we had administrators in the building, but there was a huge fight that broke out. This would have been a great tool that they could have used, had they had it available to them, to be able to protect our students and try to get these intruders out of the building at the time," Clements said.
"What we like so much about this item is that it has audio and video technology to where, when you take this device and you point the laser at a person, it automatically begins recording the video and audio," he added. "And one of the things that we were trained is that the first thing you do is say, 'You are being recorded. Everything you say and do is being recorded. You need to cease and desist what's taking place here.'" So, we're hoping that that will be enough, they they realize, 'Hey, I'm on video and audio.'"
Photo: Courtesy of Guardian8