Pilot Point ISD launched a new security technology on Thursday that could help save lives in the event of a school shooting or natural disaster.
The North Texas-based company Go-to-Green recently brought to market an emergency evacuation system that uses color-coded lighting to direct students and staff to safety and away from danger.
“If somebody has evil in their heart so bad that they want to come into a school and do this, they’re going to find a way to do it,” said Pilot Point ISD Police Chief Brad Merritt, speaking with NBC 5. “That’s where this system comes into play because it immediately alerts us of what’s going on.”
The system has acoustic sensors and surveillance cameras that can detect gunfire and trigger overhead lights in classrooms and hallways to glow green to signal “go,” red to signal “turn around and run away,” and blue and red to indicate that a shooter is present in the vicinity, according to the company’s website.
“That’s why we call it Go to Green,” company founder and CEO Ernie Williams told WFAA. “You see a green light, go to it. You see a red light, don’t go to it.”
Pilot ISD moved to adopt the technology in the months following the Uvalde school shooting last May, which prompted parents all over Texas to demand their school boards take security precautions more seriously.
Some districts have instituted policies that allow trained campus employees to carry firearms on school grounds.
For its part, Dallas ISD, the biggest district in North Texas and the second biggest in the state, has done comparatively little to improve security.
It is, in large part, a recapitulation of recommendations and directives issued by the governor, like door safety checks, campus security evaluations, and threat assessment training.
Pilot Point ISD, a much smaller district with a fraction of Dallas ISD’s colossal $2 billion budget, appears to be covering all of its bases.
A spokesperson for the district’s police department told The Dallas Express that Pilot Point ISD is enrolled in the School Defender Program, which he said offers “robust firearm and safety training” to educators and school employees who want to be able to defend themselves and their students in the event of an active shooter.
Go-to-Green, however, will further fortify the district’s campuses.
“So, to me, the important thing is to give people a direction. Give them a chance,” Williams told WFAA. “Right now, the bad guys are betting that you don’t have a chance.”