Montgomery County considers expanding emergency notification system

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – Law enforcement agencies are going the extra mile to prepare for a possible school shooting and they have a new tool to help.

IN FORCE 911 is a software that connects schools directly with law enforcement.

“It saves all kinds of precious, precious time,” Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin said.

Alerts immediately notify officers on their phone, computer and in their car. The system works in seconds instead of minutes that calling 911 could take.

“Every second, we save can save a life,” Partin said.

The software was an easy sell for Partin to put in Montgomery County Schools.

“If something bad is happening, the sooner we arrive, the sooner it ends,” Partin said.

The alert gives officers the exact room location with a campus map so they can figure out where the closest entry point is to where the alert went off.

“Some of our schools are so big now, we need a little help once we get inside,” Partin said.

IN FORCE 911 will then open a chat window with police so the person sending the alert can communicate any additional information about the situation.

It’s an extra layer of protection that owners of the Boston-based company said is expanding beyond schools.

“Places like administrative buildings or city halls or even city libraries for that matter are often open style campuses and so threats that exist in school buildings typically are very similar to the types of threats that exist there,” IN FORCE 911 president and CEO Brandon Flanagan said.

Flanagan said they’ve seen an uptick in requests for government buildings since the Virginia Beach shooting and now, Montgomery County leaders are considering that too.

“The tragedy in Virginia Beach brings everything to the forefront, so anything we can do to help prevent the loss of life, we’re going to jump on it,” Partin said.

Flanagan said schools in Pulaski, Bedford and Amherst counties are also using IN FORCE 911.