AUSTIN, TX — Dickinson ISD Assistant Superintendent Robert Cobb, in partnership with the nation’s leading interoperable communications company Mutualink, attended the Texas Association for School Administrators (TASA) Midwinter Conference in Austin this week to lead a lecture on a topic at the forefront of the minds of so many school leaders, teachers, and parents: school safety.
The TASA Midwinter Conference has become the most popular conference of the year for Texas school leaders because it provides a valuable opportunity to come together to discuss and share modern practices, network with peers, address the administrative issues administrators face every day, and gain fresh insights.
And 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.
Cobb, who was hired as Assistant Superintendent of Administration for Dickinson ISD in 2009, provided fellow education leaders from across Texas with insight into how the Bay Area school district has been proactive in making student and teacher safety priority number one. Cobb covered the progress Dickinson has made in safety upgrades to the 14 schools within their district, and how they have focused on a multi-layered safety plan to address mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
David Harding, Vice-President at Mutualink — a company pioneering innovative platforms that connect schools and law enforcement agencies — opened Cobb’s presentation on Monday to discuss the multi-hazard response and the emergency communications system in use by Dickinson and other Texas school districts.
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 by entities worldwide for these purposes, including for homeland security, police and fire departments, schools and universities, transit authorities, hospitals, utilities, shopping malls, and casinos. Mutualink is SAFETY Act certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT).
And following the allocation of education funding provided by the Texas State Legislature in 2019, both public and charter schools across Texas have access to $100 million in discretionary funding for school safety installations and improvements, as well as an additional $100 million available to them via a grant process. Cobb and Mutualink representatives were available to answer any questions school administrators might have had related to how to access this funding.