MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As the new school year starts, the Mobile County Public School System says they are doing what they can to make all of their students and staff are safe during the school day.

They are expanding one of their safety programs to all schools in the district. The program is called Crisis Alert, it’s basically a button school staff wears around their neck. By the push of a button, they can alert the entire school of any emergency in seconds.

As students are back in their classrooms in Mobile County, the school district is doing what it can to ensure they’re safe.

“We have for years done everything in our power to make sure our campuses are as safe as they can possibly be from 7-3. From the moment their children step on this campus, we’re doing everything,” said Andy Gatewood, the Director of Safety and Security for Mobile County Public Schools.

Crisis Alert can alert the entire school immediately to an emergency. A message will sound over the intercom, the message will also pop up on computer and phone screens, and a strobe light will flash with a specific color.

“There are lots of automatic things that happen, with strobes flashing certain colors, automatic messages on computer screens, intercom messages, and things like that. Which allows us to go much quicker than we would if we had to try to alert everybody,” said Gatewood.

Staff pushes the button around their neck the number of times pressed correlates to the situation happening. Whether it be a message to administrators about a sick student, or that the school needs to go on lockdown. They can do it from anywhere on campus.

“If a custodian, a CNP worker, or a teacher for that matter happens to be outside the campus and happens to see something suspicious or an intruder or something like that, they can put the school in lockdown from their position there, and not have to make their way to the office and make an intercom announcement and go through the process that will take a lot longer than if they can simply do it from their badge,” said Gatewood.

The school system says the amount of time it takes to notify the whole school is crucial.

“The quicker that we can do that and get the doors locked and get the kids in place and the staff in place, the better,” said Gatewood.

The school system’s goal is to install Crisis Alert at all of their schools by the end of this school year.

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