SaferWatch, Digital Panic Button for schools

Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 9:26 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -A digital panic button to report crime is now live in Okaloosa County.

The SaferWatch app is adding a whole new level of school safety, by giving teachers and staff a direct way to report suspicious and or dangerous behavior.

The Okaloosa County School System, along with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, launched the app as an added layer of protection for schools.

“No mission is more important than protecting our children,” said Okaloosa School Superintendent Marcus Chambers. “This level of added protection is a game-changer.”

The significance of the SaferWatch app is that it saves time, a valuable toll when seconds counts. With a smartphone, the user can send an alert to multiple agencies in the event of an emergency.

“We have one of the best School Resource Officer programs in the state, if not the country, " said Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden. “Having this mobile panic alarm with its coordinated capabilities is a monumental asset to not just our SROs on school campuses, but for every law enforcement, fire, or EMS responder.

With the press of a button, the app not only automatically notifies law enforcement of said emergency, or significant safety hazard on school grounds, but it gives real-time updates on the situation as it progresses.

The information instantly connects to the Okaloosa County 911 Communications Center with GPS coordinates to pinpoint the exact location, helping officers respond faster.

Users have the ability to share pictures, text messages and video too through the app with their smartphone directly to dispatch and they can talk to the dispatcher like they would during a regular 911 call.

SaferWatch adheres to Florida’s “Alyssa’s Law”, to protect students and staff during critical emergencies. Alyssa Alhadeff was only 14 years old when she lost her life life, along with 16 others, during a school shooting in February 2018 at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.


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