Student safety appears to be getting a high-tech shield with a new “See Something, Send Something” app being introduced this month by the Aurora Police Department.
School and law enforcement administrators seem excited about the new “tool,” which invites anyone, especially students, with relevant information that may be cause for alarm to share it through a means almost always at or near their fingertips — cell phones. Simply downloading this app to a smartphone brings you into the security loop, allowing users to send messages while also receiving alerts or notices pushed out in cases of emergency.
A key and unique piece to this new strategy, according to Police Chief Paul Graham, is the anonymity with which tips can be sent to Aurora’s men in blue. This app allows students, or anyone for that matter, to send video, audio or texts to law enforcement when they see or hear something that might involve school violence, bullying, suicide or other potentially risky situations. That’s a powerful and empowering tool, to be sure!
The FBI is reportedly working on adapting facial recognition software through this program, which means that cutting-edge technology could now be utilized on the local level. It is amazing, though not all that surprising in this day and age, that such a high-tech tool could be put to use not just in made-for-TV “CSI” scripts, but for helping keep our community safe right here at home in rural Nebraska.
As with any technology, there is potential for abuse, especially since tipsters can remain anonymous. Graham said any and all tips will be investigated, so we hope and trust that students, and the community at large, will use this tool as intended so as not to waste time and resources. It will only be effective if people use it, and use it the right way.
As described, it seems that this geofence-based technology is adding a valuable layer of security to help keep our kids and community safe. Take the time, today, to download the free app and become part of that security blanket.