Southlake — One hundred Carroll Independent School District staffers will have personal panic buttons this year.As part of its expanded #SAFEdragons initiative, the school has started a pilot program with Dallas-based eTrak to provide the GPS locators.The devices resemble a keyless car remote in size and shape, and have a button that sends a signal to a regional dispatcher.“It decreases our response time and increases communication,” said Julie Thannum, CISD spokeswoman.Each school will have at least 5 or 6 devices. Larger campuses will have more. Thannum said the district worked with principals to decide who would carry the devices and considered a number of scenarios. Bus drivers, special education teachers, night custodians, principals and school nurses would be likely candidates. Once the panic button is pushed, an alert is sent to the Northeast Tarrant County Communications (NETCOM) dispatch based in Keller. When NETCOM receives the signal, they radio the school’s resource officer who is likely to be the first responder.If multiple devices go off at a school, officials know there’s a larger program, Thannum said.Carroll is the first school district in North Texas to use the locators. The devices were released in April. eTrak representatives said this will be the first full school year that the devices will be in place.The pilot program is part of the district’s expanded school safety effort, which includes school resource officers at every campus, background checks for all volunteers, a safety fair and more.
Dustin L. Dangli 817-390-7770