Dallas ISD Board Hears Remarks from School Security Professional
DALLAS, TX — On Tuesday, members of the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees continued their discussions and review of options for a 2020 education bond package. While the Board is still considering plans that range from $2.7 billion to $3.7 billion, all proposals include important investments in school safety and security improvements.
With the rate of emergency events in our schools on the rise, leaders are looking for innovative ways to not only prevent a school shooting, medical accident, or other life-threatening issue, but to quickly respond and resolve those that occur.
Among those who addressed the Board on the bond proposal was Devra Kelly, Solutions Executive at Mutualink — a company helping to connect schools and law enforcement agencies so they can be prepared for an unpredictable world.
Kelly discussed the importance of investing in the multi-hazard response, training, and emergency communications system that Santa Fe High School installed after the May 2018 tragedy. Additional Texas school districts, including Texas City ISD and Dickinson ISD in the Bay Area rely on the same platform.
“When Dallas parents send their children to school, they rely on community leaders and the plans and systems they have put in place to keep their children safe,” Kelly said addressing the Board on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, almost every after-action school-shooting or public mass violence report cites communications failures as a contributing factor to the loss of life.”
“The technology exists to do better. Interoperable technologies instantly create a connection that allows communication between emergency response teams and schools. Better situational awareness results in better outcomes.”
Providing a bridge for radio, real-time video sharing, and instant communications to link schools with local law enforcement and first responders, Mutualink is proud to have reduced time to resolution by up to 50% in active shooter exercises involving SWAT and law enforcement.
Mutualink’s system is deployed worldwide for these purposes, including by federal, state and local first responder agencies, transit authorities, hospitals, utilities and shopping malls. FEMA and the Texas Department of Public Safety utilize the Mutualink system, which is SAFETY Act certified by the US Department of Homeland Security.
The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees is expected to open the bond proposals up for further community input next month. A finalized bond proposal would ultimately be presented to Dallas voters for approval on the November 2020 ballot.
ABOUT DEVRA KELLY
Devra Kelly’s career spans 25+ years as a security communications professional. Her work includes partnerships with state and local law enforcement and first responders, and dozens of schools across the state to help these organizations prepare for everyday emergencies and worst-case scenarios. Prior to entering the security industry, Devra was a teacher in Alaska and Montana.