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Advanced Security Software to Be Deployed at GNB Voc Tech

KASEY SILVIA – IN FORCE911 enables all employees to communicate directly with law enforcement during an emergency.

Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School will soon have instantaneous, two-way access to local law enforcement thanks to the deployment of an advanced software tool that enables faculty, staff, and administrators to communicate directly with the local police department in the event of an emergency or security breach.

By partnering with Massachusetts-based In Force Technology LLC, the high school and the New Bedford Police Department will soon be equipped with the IN FORCE911 desktop and mobile software application. The software is proven to significantly reduce police response time to buildings and specific locations inside buildings during a critical event at a school while addressing the communications barrier that unfortunately exists during active shooter incidents.

It is a software tool that school officials, officers and the developers hope is never needed, however, the leadership of Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School believes that this level of preparation and sophistication could provide a vital link between those inside a school building and those rushing to help when seconds count.

“Eliminating communication barriers between schools and local law enforcement is critical in the event of an emergency,” said In Force Technology CEO Brandon Flanagan. “Our software provides an immediate link to law enforcement that allows educators to contact them in seconds. It also has the potential to provide police with invaluable information, from the location of a suspect to the origin of the reported threat.”

The IN FORCE911 app empowers school staff with the ability to launch an alert in seconds from their desktop or mobile device, rather than minutes, with the current 911 system. Instead of waiting for calls to route through statewide or countywide dispatch systems, IN FORCE911 sends alerts and messages directly to the terminals and mobile devices of police officers in a specified area.

“We hope we never need to deploy the IN FORCE911 system, however, we must be realistic about potential school threats in the 21st century,” said James L. O’Brien, Supt./Director of Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School.

“This system provides both GNBVT and the New Bedford Police with a valuable public safety tool that will connect our classroom teachers and staff directly with the police department, should the need ever arise.”

During an emergency, the alert is sent directly to the dispatch center, police cruisers and cell phones of officers with specific information, including the room of origin. It also opens a two-way chat dialogue, in real-time, allowing staff to communicate details of a threat or description of a suspect to first responders.

Additionally, first responders are provided access to floor plans, security camera feeds and other emergency information to help them plan the best response. IN FORCE911’s “Reverse Alert” feature also allows New Bedford law enforcement officials to immediately alert town and school officials of any imminent threats in their area, such as a police pursuit in progress, domestic custodial dispute, active robbery or severe weather alert. This eliminates the need for law enforcement to pick up the phone and call each building, in hopes they will lockdown.

“IN FORCE911 is a mechanism that will expedite police response to a critical event, to maximize the opportunity to preserve life,” said Chief of New Bedford Police, Joseph Cordeiro.

The software will be installed in all schools this winter, and educators will be trained accordingly. The software is also being installed at the New Bedford Police Department, where local police will also be trained to handle the new technology.

IN FORCE911 is used by hundreds of communities nationwide, including deployment in dozens of communities in New England.

By implementing the IN FORCE911 school safety software throughout its school and local law enforcement, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School leadership hope to empower school faculty, staff, and students, while working to save lives during an act of violence. Countless law enforcement training courses all teach the same lesson: time equals lives and every second counts during an emergency or active shooter incident.

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New Bedford school hopes mobile app will help boost security

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A New Bedford school is turning to technology to improve the safety of students and staff.

Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School will soon start utilizing an app that puts teachers and administrators in direct contact with police in the event of an emergency.

The school is the first in the area to launch the security software. By partnering with Massachusetts-based In Force Technology, LLC, both the school and the New Bedford Police Department will be equipped with the IN FORCE911 desktop and mobile app.

Superintendent James O’Brien said given recent incidents at schools across the nation, safety is a top priority.

“Greater New Bedford Vo-Tech is not immune to society’s woes. [The app] is another tool to make schools safe for kids today,” he said. “How can a student learn if a student doesn’t feel safe within their school?”

The app allows school staffers to alert law enforcement while communicating in real-time with first responders and other staff members throughout the building. It also gives first responders access to floor plans and security camera feeds.

“If I hear gunshots and that teacher notifies police they are in room B153, then police know that’s where they have to go,” IT Director Maciel Paise explained. “If they find out the intruder is on the other side of the building, they will be in contact with the teacher so they know if it’s OK to leave the room. This is really the future.”

By establishing a two-way, real-time chat portal and significantly reducing police response time, the goal of the software is to ultimately save lives.

The school’s staff will be trained on the software and it is expected to launch in February.

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Montgomery County considers expanding emergency notification system

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – NBC10 Roanoke VA (Jessica Jewell) – 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.

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Courthouse now equipped with IN FORCE911

Jackson WV Newspapers – The Jackson County Courthouse and Sheriff’s Department have recently deployed an advanced software tool that will facilitate immediate communication between employees inside a building and law enforcement officers in the field during an emergency.

The Jackson County Courthouse, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Ripley Police Department are now equipped with the IN FORCE 911 desktop and mobile software application, the flagship product of Boston-based In Force Technology, LLC. The software is proven to significantly reduce police response time to buildings and specific locations inside buildings during a critical event while addressing the communications barrier that unfortunately exists during active shooter incidents.

“In today’s world, having technology activated that will immediately connect courthouse employees, the sheriff’s department and local law enforcement simply makes sense,” said Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs. “It is reassuring for everyone to know they can report a dangerous or suspicious situation to police and reach them in seconds. As we all know, time is of the essence in an emergency.”

IN FORCE 911 is a software tool that law enforcement officials and the developers hope is never needed, however the leadership of the Jackson County Courthouse and the Sheriff’s Department believes that this level of preparation and sophistication could provide a vital link in the event of an emergency.

The IN FORCE 911 app empowers employees of the courthouse and sheriff’s department with the ability to launch an alert in seconds from their desktop or mobile device, rather than minutes with the current 911 system. Rather than waiting for calls to route through statewide or county-wide dispatch systems, IN FORCE 911 sends alerts and messages directly to the terminals and mobile devices of police officers in a specified area.

During an emergency, the alert is sent directly to the dispatch center, police cruisers and cell phones of officers with specific information, including the room of origin. It also opens a two-way chat dialogue, in real-time, allowing staff to communicate details of a threat or description of a suspect to first responders and receive instructions and potentially lifesaving information in return. Additionally, first responders are provided access to floor plans, security camera feeds and other emergency information to help them plan the best response.

In Force Technology and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department have also given a presentation to the leadership of the Jackson County Schools about the benefits of potentially installing the software in the school buildings as well.

“IN FORCE 911 was crafted to reduce police response times during emergencies and acts of violence, and we’re thrilled to be deploying these safety tools in schools and organizations including the Jackson County Courthouse and Sheriff’s Department,” said Brandon Flanagan, President and CEO of In Force Technology. “By providing police with critical information about the situation and allowing them to arrive on scene faster than ever before, this technology has the potential to save lives.”

IN FORCE 911 is used throughout the country. Several communities and school districts in Virginia including Northampton, Amherst and Pulaski Counties have recently adopted the product.

By implementing the IN FORCE 911 safety software throughout its courthouse and law enforcement entities, Jackson County’s Sheriff Department hopes to empower its staff, while working to save lives during an act of violence. Countless law enforcement training courses all teach the same lesson: time equals lives and every second counts during an emergency or active shooter incident.

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Security App Connects Law Enforcement Institutions to Reduce Response Times

Security Today – Haley Samsel – The sheriff’s department in Jackson County, West Virginia has become the latest institution to adopt an app aimed at reducing police response time, particularly during active shooter incidents and other emergencies.

IN FORCE 911 sends alerts and messages directly to terminals and devices of police officers who are closest to a specific incident instead of routing calls through a dispatch system. The app also allows courthouse employees to launch an emergency alert within seconds rather than minutes through the traditional system, according to a company release.

In the event of an emergency, the alert is sent to the dispatch center, police cruisers and officers’ cell phones with specific information, including the building and room where the alert originated. The alert also opens a two-way chat dialogue that allows staff to communicate further details of the threat to first responders.

First responders can also gain access to floor plans for buildings, security camera feeds and other emergency information to help plan their response, the release said. The app’s launch in Jackson County will connect the sheriff’s department, the county courthouse and the Ripley Police Department, which is located in the county.

“In today’s world, having technology activated that will immediately connect courthouse employees, the sheriff’s department and local law enforcement simply makes sense,” Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs said in a statement. “It is reassuring for everyone to know they can report a dangerous or suspicious situation to police and reach them in seconds. As we all know, time is of the essence in an emergency.”

The department and In Force Technology, the company that produces the app, also recently delivered a presentation to the leadership of the Jackson County school district about potentially installing the software in school buildings. The software is now used by more than 40 communities — largely school districts — in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, the release said.

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NBC 10 I-Team Exclusive: School safety technology

NBC 10 Providence RI – Katie Davis – It’s a threat many people didn’t give a second thought before the horror that unfolded 20 years ago this month when two teenagers gunned down a dozen classmates and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Two decades later, school shootings are a very real concern, and some Southern New England communities are turning to technology to keep kids safe.

Just last month, a young man threatened to come to Attleboro High School armed with a weapon and shoot to kill. The disturbing social media post turned out to be a hoax, but Attleboro’s mayor told NBC 10 News he believes the larger threat is very real.

“The probability of a school shooting is so low. It’s extremely low. But the consequence is extremely high,” said Mayor Paul Heroux.

That’s why Heroux wants to install new technology in all nine of Attleboro’s schools that would detect the sound of a gunshot and automatically call the police. Such a system could cost as much as $700,000 to install in the city’s schools, and $40,000 per year to maintain.

It’s money the mayor believes would be well spent.

“Reducing that response time is what’s going to save lives. There’s no question about that,” Heroux said.

To prevent a shooting from occurring in the first place, Heroux also wants to install a scanning system that could spot weapons inside bags or backpacks, without using traditional metal detectors.

“We don’t want to make the school department look like airport security or prison security when you’re walking in,” he said.

A few miles away in Somerset, schools are taking a different approach to reduce response time, one that starts with teachers and other adults using their smartphones and computers. The system, from InForce 911, can summon police directly to a school within 12 seconds. It cost about $4,000 per school to install the system in Somerset schools.

“So, it’s very much human-based,” CEO Brandon Flanagan told NBC 10. “Those are the eyes and ears in the building anyway.”

Flanagan said adults can launch an alert in many types of situations, and can also receive alerts from police if officers are aware of a dangerous situation near a school.

“It could be an intruder in the building. It could be the threat of a weapons attack. It could be an active shooter. It could be a bomb threat.”

One a teacher or staff member launches an alert, every officer on duty in Somerset sees it — without anyone having to call 911.

“With InForce, it allows us to know exactly where the threat is within the school,” said Chief George McNeil of the Somerset Police Department. “It’s instantaneous because it goes directly to the police officer on patrol.”

Flanagan said InForce 911 is in talks with several Rhode Island school districts who are looking to install the same technology in their classrooms as well.

NBC 10 talked with Rhode Island State Police Captain Derek Borek, an expert in school shootings. He agreed response time is key.

“If we can get in there that much quicker, then we’re going to save as many lives as possible,” Borek said. “The [technologies] that are proactive are the ones that are going to help us. The reactive ones, not so much.”

Beyond technology, Borek said creating the right culture is vital so that kids feel safe talking to adults at school and at home.

“Parents have to have a good relationship with their child, to ensure that that kid feels safe to go to their parents and say, mom and dad, I don’t feel comfortable,” Borek said.

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D-Y School District Signs Agreement for New Safety Technology

CapeCod.com

SOUTH YARMOUTH – Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School officials recently announced the use of new software to enhance school safety.

The district has signed a partnership with Boston-based In Force Technology to utilize its In Force911 product.

The app, which opens a three-way connection between school staff, police dispatch and patrol units in both towns, will be installed on phones laptops and other devices.

“This technology seems like the latest and greatest next step,” said Carol Woodbury, the district’s superintendent.

Once activated, staff are able to post alerts through the app so that other staff and officers know what the situation is, where it may be happening and possible suspect descriptions in emergency situations including active shooters.

Woodbury said the school district has never had technology like this that can immediately get in touch with first responders.

“This will give us an opportunity to put technology in the hands of all of our teachers and we think that is paramount if something were to happen in a building of getting the police here quickly but also being able to pinpoint where things are happening to give them better intel,” Woodbury said.

The app will also provide first responders with floor plans, surveillance cameras and other information to help them make the best decisions for the emergency situation.

More than 60 communities in Massachusetts and several other states.

Sandwich and Provincetown have signed agreements to use In Force911.

The software costs $3,000 for each school per year. There is also a smaller fee for the police departments.

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How an app can help police, teachers work together in emergency situations

 Robert Goulston (Fox 25 Boston News)

WORCESTER, Mass. – The one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida school shooting has districts everywhere continuing to tighten security.

In Force 911 is a computer software app that connects people in harm’s way with people trying to help them.  Many school districts in Massachusetts are now using the system, which allows teachers and staff a way to talk directly to the responding police officers. It also gives police a way to tap into cameras before they get to the scene.

“We empower teachers, faculty, and staff inside a school building the means to launch an alert,” said In Force Technology CEO Brandon Flanagan.

A teacher or staffer can use the In Force 911 app on their phone to first alert police, then start relaying critical information right to the first responders.

Using the software, people can also tap into the school’s camera system and get eyes on the issue before they even get there. In Force also sends police the school’s floor plan and layout.

“And to secondly bridge the communications gap which we know exists between the point of contact inside the school building back court to the first responder community,” said Flanagan.

School safety officials say it took five minutes for the shooter to kill 17 people and hurt more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.

“And everybody who is on that application in the school building can text one another as well,” said Worcester School Safety Director Robert Pezzella.

Worcester Public Schools just started using In Force 911, as well as other safety technology and training, to increase everyone’s chances in an attack. Worcester Police and dispatchers can also use the program to deal with other potential safety issues by sending reverse alerts.

“For instance, there is a bank robbery, someone running through the neighborhoods at a nearby school. A reverse alert would come to let that school know to keep your kids in the building,” said Pezzella.

Worcester is using the software in all of the high school and middle schools and they are already phasing into the elementary schools.

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Dennis-Yarmouth schools introduce new system to enhance security

Susan Vaughn (Dennis Wicked Local)

Dennis-Yarmouth Public School officials recently signed a partnership with a company that provides a software application expected to significantly reduce response time from police and provide two-way communication to all staff during a critical event, such as a shooting incident, in any of the district schools.

The Dennis and Yarmouth police departments will be linked up to the system and be able to receive alerts directly from the school staff’s desktop or mobile devices in 12 seconds or less with specific information, such as the room of origin.

The Boston-based company, In Force Technology, says its In Force911 product opens a two-way chat dialogue in real-time allowing staff to communicate details of the threat to first responders. The first responders will have access to floor plans, camera feeds and other emergency detailed information to help them plan the best course of action.

“It takes the guesswork out and can help with decisions on how to act,” company President and CEO Brandon D. Flanagan said in a recent interview at the D-Y superintendent’s office. He said it reduces the response time for both police and staff inside the school.

“We’re very excited we signed the partnership,” Assistant Superintendent of Schools Ken Jenks said. “It’s great for notifications and communication. We can go back and forth, which we hadn’t seen in earlier programs.”

Superintendent of Schools Carol Woodbury said the school district has been using the ALICE decision-making protocol, which stands for: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. “This supports that in a big way,” Woodbury said. She also said the system encourages students if they “see something to say something.”

Flanagan said his program supports elements of ALICE, but added, “Our program is think on your feet” allowing various options. He explained that the software application is loaded onto all teacher and staff computers or smart phones as well as at the police dispatch center, police cars and police chiefs, who can receive texts to alert them to a situation.

Building floor plans and aerial views of the schools will be pre-programmed and show law enforcement the school district address, name of an individual and where they are calling from. The alert can come within 12 seconds or less, rather than minutes with the current 911 system.

That information will help decide the best entry point for police and student rally points. The staff also can give a description of an intruder to the police.

“Everybody else in the building receives the same message that comes up as a message notification,” Flanagan said. Information will be provided after an incident as well to help students reunify with parents.

“Parents love this,” Flanagan said, noting the fear of many parents of sending their children to school in light of what he called “the school shooting epidemic” in this country. “Restoring faith in the community is a big piece,” he said.

In Force911 is being used by more than 60 communities in Massachusetts and in 13 states. Sandwich and Provincetown on the Cape have signed up and Mashpee was expected to sign up soon, Flanagan said. The New Hampshire State Police also are using the program.

The cost of the software is $3,000 per school per year and a smaller fee for the police, he said. “We didn’t want it to be a burden.”

A former police chief who works for the company will provide the training to use the program with police and the schools. Jenks said they plan to run test drills by the end of the school year. He also likes that all the information will be stored securely on the Azure Microsoft Cloud software and will not require reassigning school staff technicians.

Jenks said the system could be a “confidence builder. Having a plan makes everybody feel better.”

Woodbury said the school district already has a good relationship with both towns’ police and fire departments and the high school has had a resource officer since 1988. The schools have had no recent critical incidents, she said.

“We pride ourselves on safe and supportive schools,” Woodbury said. “It one part of the big picture that going to school is good.”

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Meet IN FORCE911 – A Real-Time Threat Alert And Notification Software Provider

An interview with Brandon Flanagan, President & CEO of IN FORCE911:

Q: What is IN FORCE911?

A: IN FORCE911 is a real-time threat alert and notification software, connecting those experiencing a threat – like a school building – to local law enforcement in seconds instead of minutes.

Q: What was the purpose in founding the company?

A: First and foremost, I’m a father of four children and school safety is something that is incredibly important to me. Based on decades of experience in working with law enforcement, we recognized a tremendous need to enhance the way responding officers approach a building under threat, in this case, an active shooter situation – while working to make schools as safe as possible.

Q: What is the specific mission of the company?

A: The mission of our company is to simply saves lives. By reducing police response time and increasing communications, we recognize the difference we can make by mitigating the outcome of the situation.

Q: What does your technology do?

A: Our software enables a teacher experiencing a threat, to send an alert to local law enforcement in 12 seconds or less which contains specific information, down to the classroom number, while opening a two-way chat portal.

Q: Who is your primary targeted end-user?

A: We work with local, county and state law enforcement agencies and, public and private schools. Often times, we also deploy our software with municipal buildings and colleges/universities.

Q: How many customers are you working with and in how many states?

A: We have a very high concentration of users throughout New England, including Maine, New Hampshire and of course Massachusetts. Additionally, we have a strong presence in the mid-atlantic region, including Virginia.

Q: Who is your single largest customer?

A: Our largest school district is the city of Worcester, MA. We also work with New Hampshire State Police – a state-wide agency.

Q: What do experts say is the best way to save lives during an active shooting?

A: According to a joint study conducted by the FBI and Secret Service, they concluded that the reduction in police response time is the only true mitigating factor. Often times, we understand that law enforcement operate under the “first on, first in” mentality. Recognizing this, we want to help get police inside the building as quickly and safely as possible.

Q: How does your software reduce police response time?

A: IN FORCE911 sends an alert to the police cars, directly including the local/regional dispatch center. In essence, we are going directly to the source as opposed to a centralized E911 center. Of course, our alert is sent to the officers in 12 seconds or less, as opposed to what can be a 2-4 minute window by the time local law enforcement receives the threat.

Q: How could you have positively impacted Parkland, FL?

A: We would hope that our technology would have alerted Broward County law enforcement in a much faster manner. Recognizing that seconds matter most, even if IN FORCE911 reduced police response time by seconds, we could have positively impacted the situation and save a life. That’s why our software exists – that’s who we are.

Q: Does your software work with other programs?

A: IN FORCE911 works perfectly with options-based response trainings like the government sponsored RUN, HIDE, FIGHT. Essentially, IF911 provides staff members with the knowledge of what’s happening and where. Therefore, we help them take action in their best interest, based on the threat.

Q: Do you believe you provide peace of mind to parents?

A: Given the inherent uniqueness of our software and the ability to mitigate a potentially life-threatening situation, we believe that we are making a difference.

Q: What is the greatest challenge in school safety?

A: In certain situations, school staff members may not have access to their hard-wired classroom phones or intercoms to alert others in the building of active emergencies or threats. This creates a communication barrier which we know can be potentially lethal in certain emergencies.

Q: How do you help law enforcement better perform their duties?

A: By giving them the tools to all the information they need to know about a building under threat and its emergency in real-time. They are provided the floor plans, areal pictures, emergency plans as well as all the entrances and exits of the building, which gives them the power to make the best and safest approach.

Q: Are you also increasing officer safety?

A: Yes, by knowing what’s going on in the building based on our two-way chat capabilities, our officers can know where in the building the threat is so they can best approach it and help to evacuate other parts of the building where the threat may not be. Knowledge saves time and time saves lives in these situations.