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CONYERS — The Rockdale County Board of Education reviewed the possibility of installing emergency panic button systems district-wide at its work session Thursday night.

Chief Officer of Operations Phil Budensiek, Superintendent Dr. Terry Oatts along with other staff, evaluated products from several vendors including Alert Point, CrisisGo and Centegix prior to the meeting.

Centegix CrisisAlert agreed to match the state contract price of $30,000 per campus, excluding Alpha Omega or Open Campus. The overall cost of $570,000 will be paid through a Georgia Department of Education Safety Grant. The cost for Alpha Omega and Open Campus will be paid by E-SPLOST V, local funding.

There will also be a recurring cost of $2,500 a year, per campus for software licensing and hardware maintenance. RCPS will have the option to pay $3,500 upfront for a total of three years worth of coverage or $7,000 for five years.

“The installation of a panic button alert system will allow for improved school safety and increase the connectivity with local emergency response teams,” said Budensiek.

Centegix is currently used in 20 other Georgia school systems, including Douglas County, which provided positive feedback on the system. high remarks and feedback.

Having CrisisAlert will provide RCPS with “a reliable, daily incident and high level crisis alerting and management solution that uses a secure, proprietary mesh network of easy-to-deploy devices with visual notification and locating capability, as well as Alert Badges for instant alerting.”

Using CrisisAlert, a school lockdown can be initiated in three ways. First, all users can utilize the CrisisAlert Badge to initiate a lockdown by continuously pressing the badge button. Secondly, designated users can utilize the CrisisAlert desktop software to initiate any type of alert, including a lockdown. Lastly, designated users can utilize the CrisisAlert mobile app to initiate any type of alert, including a lockdown.

If mass communication is needed apart from the notifications sent to designated responders, the system does have the ability to integrate with a mass notification platform to distribute a message to certain contacts in the event of an alert being triggered.

“I think this a great way to protect our schools and students,” said BOE member Tony Dowdy.

Budensiek recommended that the board approve the purchase at its next meeting on Feb. 13.

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