By Anton Reicher
On July 28, Medina County commissioners approved $46,511 for the first year installation and use of a school security app known as LifeSpot to be applied at Medina County schools. The request for county funding came from Sheriff Randy Brown.
With that subscription, the app can decrease emergency response times to incidents by directly connecting on-site security to law enforcement, locating potential victims more quickly and assisting with family reunification after the incident.
When a subscriber triggers the alarm for a critical incident on their phone, the app notifies fellow staff, 911, fire department/EMS, responding officers and commanding officers. Details about the property and staff are entered into the app ahead of time by the subscriber.
“You could have an officer from Uvalde driving through Hondo and a teacher set this off,” Brown said. “That officer receives a notification and is told where to respond to.” The app also comes equipped with safeguards against accidental activation.
The motion to approve was made by Tim Neuman and seconded by Larry Sittre.
The six new deputy positions for Medina County will not be used as SROs in schools, but will provide added patrol in the county, necessary with the large growth in recent years, Sheriff Brown said.
However, Medina County Sherif’s office is contracted to provide SRO’s for Medina Valley ISD which will add 3 more this year, for a total of 9 officers on Medina Valley Campuses, Sheriff said. That’s an officer for every campus in MVISD, sheriff said.
Most other school districts are provided coverage by local PD’s and most have 1 SRO spread between all campuses in the district.
After the Uvalde tragedy, school district leaders from all over the county went to request funding for an additional SRO for each district. County commissioners Jerry Beck, David Lynch, Tim Nueman and Larry Sittre heard their concerns and pleas, but haven’t taken any action thus far for the specific purpose of SROs.
More officers/deputies in schools is something the sheriff and all leaders would like to see, but the six new deputies that the sheriff’s department is getting are already needed elsewhere and were requested long before the Uvalde incident.