MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Broward County Public Schools District held a news briefing Tuesday morning to update the public on its partnership with SaferWatch.
The SaferWatch app gives students, parents and school staff the ability to send text, photo, video, and audio tips about possible school threats directly to sheriff’s investigators.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and District leadership talked about their partnership as part of the District’s focus on school safety and ensuring families and community members have as many options as possible for reporting concerns.
SaferWatch was implemented at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year and thus far, there are 20,000 users in Broward County. Authorities said it has led to valuable tips and arrests.
“Here in Broward there have been 550 tips,” said Geno Roefaro, SaferWatch President.
The app also automatically tags the location of the incident so investigators know where it is happening.
Instances of bullying, perceived threats, or suspicious activity in hallways, classrooms, or school courtyards can be reported as they happen.
Once sheriff’s investigators receive a tip, the information will then be routed to the appropriate people – whether its law enforcement or school administration.
Using the app’s geofencing technology, organizations and law enforcement are able to send mass alert notifications to users based on their location.
The app is available at Apple’s App Store or at the Google Play Store.
The event was held at the Kathleen C. Wright Administration Center in Fort Lauderdale.
In attendance were: School Board members; Brian Katz, BCPS Chief of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness; and Geno Roefaro, SaferWatch President.
The Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the 6th-largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida.
BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 88 charter schools.