School Safety Summit aims to keep students safe

Panic button available for school staff

SANFORD, Fla. – In response to school shootings nationwide and new requirements by the state for Florida schools, law enforcement held a security summit to exchange ideas.

The event, held at Seminole State College on Tuesday, focused in part on Mutualink and services offered by the company to coordinate responses in an emergency. Capt. Rick Francis, director of school safety and security in Seminole County, spoke about a panic button available to all school staff.

The button, called RAVE, triggers Mutualink surveillance cameras and response teams to quickly deal with active shooter or other situations. Before, the process was less simple.

"The only person that could declare an emergency on our campus is a principal, and you know when obviously some of our campuses have hundreds of employees, why not give them the ability declare an emergency?" Francis said.

Officials also talked about best practices and possible changes to school landscapes, including metal detectors, bulletproof glass or cutting some entrance or exit doors. However, they all admitted there was no one answer to end the shootings and pushed for more human interaction.

"I think awareness is the key, people being aware, having a plan and then taking some action. Not saying, 'Oh, that's just how that person acts,' or not taking situations for granted but reporting suspicious behavior," Florida State University Police Chief David Perry Said.

Florida school districts will now be required to place a school resource officer at every school. Seminole County School District officials say they've already fulfilled that requirement.