FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting, has joined forces with a software company to ready for school threats with many new high-tech safety tools.

The company, IntraLogic Solutions, links law enforcement agencies to schools and gives them access to an intercom system, among other upgrades. Either at the push of a button or at the first 911 call, a map that includes interactive floor plans and photos of classrooms will pop up in command centers.

Dispatchers can view live camera footage at the location within five to 10 seconds, allowing them to see a shooter’s location so they can direct first responders accordingly.

“Seconds save lives,” said Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, 18, a senior, was killed during the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “Every second can be another gunshot, could mean another life. It means so much to me to cut down response time.”

A series of bad policies, miscommunications and confusion led to 58 minutes of chaos during and after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas.

For more than 30 minutes after the shooting, officials thought the shooter still was on campus. It took them that long to realize the school’s surveillance footage was on a 20-minute delay. By the time they realized it, the shooting was long over, and the shooter had walked to a nearby Walmart and ordered a drink at Subway.

It took first responders 43 minutes to get to Meadow’s body on the third floor, Pollack said.

He has spent the last year and a half reviewing those policies and looking for ways to make a big difference with response time, he said. Among hundreds of companies, he found one that was already linking over 2,000 schools and 150 school districts with police agencies across the country.

Lee Mandel, CEO of IntraLogic Solutions, came to Parkland in the spring of 2018 and met with parents, school officials and law enforcement about school security. His company’s software, called ALERT, is meant to give schools and law enforcement situational awareness during an emergency.

The software also allows those in the command center to unlock doors for first responders, and to talk over the school’s intercom system. That way, they can alert those at the school about the shooter, or even tell the shooter that deputies are on the way.

“It would have saved everyone, at least on the third floor,” Pollack said of how such technology could’ve helped during the Stoneman Douglas shooting. “As soon as the first 911 call came in, we’d know where the shooter would have been in the building. They could have spoken to him on the second floor.”

Pollack said he watched IntraLogic Solutions’ demonstrations of what the shooting looked like without the software, versus what it could have looked like with it. It could have saved six lives, he said.

ALERT is $40,000 for police departments and $20,000 for schools and other entities, such as places of worship, movie theaters and malls.

Mandel said the software creates a virtual link to connect the police to the systems that already exist in the schools so new cameras don’t need to be purchased. “It’s in a cloud somewhere,” he said. “You can’t expect the schools to go spend a half-million dollars. Police get control and benefit of the system and the schools don’t have to spend the money. It’s a brilliant concept. It’s Andy’s concept.”

Mandel said Pollack’s organization, SchoolSafetyGrant.org, funded in part by donations, is offering the grants. At the end of the month, it will give out $20 million in grants to police departments that want it. He said both the police departments and the schools both need the equipment to make the connection.

Those initially participating are the police departments in Coconut Creek and Coral Springs, both of which have strong links to the Parkland tragedy. Coral Springs police were credited with an aggressive response to the shooting, pushing past sheriff’s deputies to storm the campus and rescue the wounded. And a Coconut Creek police officer took the initiative to step away from the chaos and canvass the surrounding area, to successfully find and detain the killer.

“Andy is one of the most resilient and passionate men I have ever met,” said Coconut Creek Police Chief Albert “Butch” Arenal. “Both as a father and a police chief, I sincerely appreciate his commitment to keeping our kids safe.”

Coral Springs Police Chief Clyde Parry said he’s “for anything that will enhance school safety” in the community, and would like to see the technology in any of the city’s 26 schools, both private and public. He added that Pollack has been a strong advocate for school safety.

“This would allow officers to have intelligence, in reference to an emergency, prior to arriving at the location. It helps us understand the nature of the incident and pinpoint the location,” Parry said. “Anything that will keep our citizens safe, especially the children, is something I would want to participate in.”

Eventually, Pollack would like every police department and school to have it.

Pollack said the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the countywide 911 system, could be included in the initiative because it’s about safety for the kids and reducing response times by minutes. “We saw what happened in Parkland, and (reduced response time) would have saved a lot of lives,” he said.

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The Broward Sheriff’s Office has stepped up its efforts, too: Under an agreement approved last year by the Broward County School Board, the Broward Sheriff’s Office would have access to live feeds from school security cameras. The access will be restricted to certain emergency situations, such as when a threat is reported about the school, a 911 call is received from the school or nearby and when the school requests assistance.

There also have been other upgrades across the region, where campuses were further secured with hundreds of new employees to protect students. District officials have said they continue to make physical security enhancements, too, including more video surveillance cameras, upgraded intercoms and improvements to radio communications.

For his initiative, Pollack said he would like to see the technology in the Broward and Palm Beach County school districts as well as charter and private schools.

The program will be formally unveiled in February — after the two-year anniversary of the tragedy.

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