Tech Start-Up Launches 'Active-Shooter' Mobile App For Schools

SafeGuard Systems, Inc., a Palo Alto tech startup, is now several weeks away from launching a revolutionary mobile phone app, that bridges the communication gap between school administrators and teachers with law enforcement agencies, in the event of a mass shooting.

“SafeGuard OES isn’t just an app, it’s a clean and simple tool that can improve any emergency management program,” said Mike Jacobs, CEO of SafeGuard Systems, Inc.

The app is designed to work with school administrators and teachers in providing real-time critical information about the status of their classroom to law enforcement agencies during an active shooter situation. First responders are able to see a map of the campus overlaid with GPS navigation to get an exact location of the user, and understand the status of the classroom before entering the facilities. While every second counts in a mass shooting, this app directs first responders to areas of a school where assistance to treat the most critically wounded is needed the most.

SafeGuard OES mobile app functions include: 

  • Mass notification received by all app users

  • Mass SMS received by all stakeholders

  • 911 dispatch receives call

  • Incident tracking as it occurs with status of each area

  • Emergency responders can contact users directly

  • Map view with condition status

  • Navigation to area in communication from anywhere onsite

  • More accurate than GPS

“EMS units are doing the work of a doctor, only doing it at 60mph. SafeGuard OES gets them to you even faster,” said Jacobs.

KRON-TV, a local television station licensed in San Francisco, California, interviewed Jacobs this week after a teen gunman killed 17 at Stoneman Douglas High School, in southern Florida. This is what he said:

"It's a problem that's growing, and we need to fix it," app creator Mike Jacobs said.

The app will enable teachers and staff members to communicate with first responders directly.

“You don’t want to give it to students,” Jacobs said. “There are many reasons why. One of them primarily because you don’t want any false alarms.”

The “real-time” GPS system shows authorities exactly where the threat is.

“The floor level. The exact room number,” Jacobs said.

It also gives an overview of the entire campus and displays the status of every area.

“If they’re unfamiliar with the school, they can use the navigator function, and it’ll navigate them to the exact location,” Jacobs said.

It’s meant to bridge the gap of communication because every second counts when lives are at stake.

“School districts across the country are conducting lockdown drills or shelter-in-place type drills. They’re already integrating those types of drills and adding this will (only) make it better,” Jacobs said.

Safeguard School Systems is working with a number of school districts on the Peninsula and the South Bay.

WSVN, a Fox-affiliated television station licensed in Miami, Florida, provides a shocking look into the deadly history of school shootings across the United States:

— Feb. 14, 2018: Authorities say a former student opened fire at a Florida high school Wednesday, killing “numerous” people. The Broward County sheriff said 14 people were taken to hospitals.

— Jan. 23, 2018: Two students were killed and 14 wounded by gunfire when a student opened fire before classes began at Marshall County High School in west Kentucky, authorities said. A grand jury is meeting to consider charging the 15-year-old boy as an adult.

— Dec. 7, 2017: Two students at Aztec High School in New Mexico were killed by a gunman disguised as a student. Police said the shooter later killed himself.

— Sept. 13, 2017: A 15-year-old boy was killed at Freeman High School in Rockford, Washington, and three female students were wounded when authorities say another 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun. A suspect was arrested.

— April 10, 2017: A gunman opened fire in the special education classroom of his estranged wife at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California, killing her and an 8-year-old boy, and wounding another child. The gunman then fatally shot himself.

— Sept. 28, 2016: A 6-year-old boy was fatally shot on the playground of Townville Elementary School in South Carolina by a 14-year-old boy who had just killed his father, authorities said. Another child and a teacher were struck by bullets but survived. The teen was charged with murder.

— Sept 8, 2016: A 14-year-old girl died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting and wounding another female student at Alpine High School in West Texas.

— Dec. 14, 2012. A 20-year-old gunman killed 20 first-grade children and six educators inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and then killed himself. He also fatally shot his mother before entering the school.

— Feb. 27, 2012: Three students were killed and two wounded in a shooting that started in a school cafeteria in Chardon, Ohio, as students waited for buses to other schools. Police charged a suspect, 17 at the time, as an adult.

— April 16, 2007: Twenty-three-year-old Seung-Hui Cho fatally shot 32 people in a dorm and a classroom at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and then killed himself.

— April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school’s library.

— Dec. 1, 1997: Three students were killed and five wounded at a high school in West Paducah, Kentucky. Michael Carneal, then 14, later pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder and is serving life in prison.

Does America have a mass shooting problem?