‘Panic Button’ App Lets Teachers Alert Police Immediately

Aug 5, 2019, 5:19 PM | Updated: 9:56 pm

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – A new tool available to teachers and staff in the Canyons School District allows them to trigger an alarm and alert police to an emergency, quicker than ever.

Think of it like a panic button. It’s an alert that can get officers to a school faster than calling 911.

The app is called “DIR-S” (pronounced “duress”). It can be used on any smartphone or computer by every teacher and staff member.

Kierstin Draper is the principal at Canyon View Elementary. She said the school has been piloting the app for two years and said it works.

“We’ve done drills where we’ve been able to account for all of our students, which is over 430 students, within 2 to 3 minutes, on an individual basis, which was not possible before having this technology,” said Draper. “This way we can know immediately when something happens.”

The app lets teachers, staff and law enforcement communicate with each other in real time. When one person triggers an alert, everyone gets it. The app also lets teachers say whether their classrooms are safe or not, and account for every student. That way, police know where to go first.

“When a school goes into alert, all the teachers say, ‘I am here in my room and I am safe or unsafe,’” explained Preston Keller with DIR-S. “If their room is safe it goes green. If they are unsafe, it goes red. So within a matter of seconds you can have the whole school accounted for.”

Developed by a Utah company, the app is now being used in Logan, Cache County and Salt Lake City school districts.

Draper said it’s a great tool for all schools.

“Safety is number one and with something like this, it provides us with the preparation that we need to know that if there is something that happens, we can address it immediately and it can save lives,” she said.

All schools in the Canyons School District were expected to be trained on the app by Christmas break ,and then they can start using it in conjunction with law enforcement.

School officials said the app costs about $65,000 annually.

KSL 5 TV Live

Education & Schools

Teachers at Utah’s largest high school are done taking away cell phones from students. Instead, t...

Erin Cox

No more taking phones from students, Granger High School implementing new policy this fall

Teachers at Utah’s largest high school are done taking away cell phones from students. They’re trying something new in the Fall, and if they’re successful, other schools might do the same.

11 minutes ago

FILE - The 1200 building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., is seen, Oct. 2...

Terry Spencer, Associated Press

Six years after the Parkland school massacre, the bloodstained building will finally be demolished

The demolition of the building where 17 people died in the 2018 Parkland school shooting is set to begin. Crews will begin tearing down the three-story building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday.

17 hours ago

The Alpine School District holds public comment to discuss a potential split on June 11, 2024. (KSL...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Alpine School District hears first public comments on potential split option

The Alpine School District got a taste of what residents think of a plan to potentially split the school district.

1 day ago

The outside of the Black Cultural Center at Weber State University in Ogden on Tuesday. It and seve...

Tim Vandenack,

Weber State to axe Black, Latino, other cultural centers to comply with new diversity law

Weber State University will eliminate cultural centers for Black, Latino and other students to comply with the new Utah law targeting diversity initiatives.

4 days ago

Davis County School buses at the Bus Farm in Farmington on Friday, Sept. 13. (Matt Gade, Deseret Ne...

Tim Vandenack,

Davis School District, ex-employee reach $143,558 settlement in discrimination suit

Davis School District officials and a former employee tasked with investigating racial harassment cases have reached a settlement to resolve the lawsuit she filed against the school system over alleged discrimination.

7 days ago

Anthem Preparatory School in South Jordan will be traveling to Normandy, France to perform for the ...

Alex Cabrero

Two groups from Utah performing in Normandy, France for 80th anniversary of D-Day

The dance team at Anthem Preparatory School and the Utah Pipe Band will be traveling to Normandy, France to perform for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

‘Panic Button’ App Lets Teachers Alert Police Immediately