Iowa is making schools more secure with technology.
A new program launched by the Iowa Department of Public Safety will enable law enforcement to respond to school emergencies and monitor school surveillance cameras. Additionally, cops will be able to use the school wifi to download information and send reports.
“We will be able to communicate far better in emergencies as a result of that good connection,” Roxann Ryan, Iowa public safety commissioner, told the Des Moines Register in an announcement earlier this week.
The initiative, called WISE – Wifi Internet for School Emergencies – will connect state police officers to the Iowa Communications Network. The broadband carrier network currently links Iowa schools, National Guard armories, government offices, public safety agencies and health care services. Wifi vendors Cisco, Aruba and Fortinet are the driving force behind the network.
WISE will be piloted in the Marshalltown, Norwalk and Martensdale school districts first. If the trial period is successful, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad hopes to expand the service statewide.
The program comes at no cost to schools, according to the newspaper. Officials say the system features security measures that should block hackers from breaching the network.
In all, Iowa safety officials hope the project will increase the safety of children at school.
“The safety of our children and educators in the state is a top priority,” said Ryan. “The WISE School pilot project is just one more way our state is working together with local and county officials to strengthen and ensure that our schools are safe.”