LOCAL NEWS

Retired police captain continues work to protect schools with tech for teachers

May 25, 2022, 5:24 PM | Updated: 8:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A retired police officer who spent most of his career working to protect schools, is continuing that work with a Salt Lake-based company that created an app for school staff and first responders to communicate quickly during an active shooter situation.

Former Sandy Police Captain Justin Chapman was devastated to hear the news about the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 21 people, most of them children.

“Maybe it was because the numbers. Maybe it was because of the ages. Maybe it was because it was an elementary school, you know, my emotions popped up right away.”

Chapman retired from law enforcement in January this year after 28 years working for the Sandy Police Department.

“My interest in school safety is very high because really that’s what I’ve lived in a law enforcement aspect over the last 28 years.”

Chapman can’t help but think back to his second day as a school resource officer in 1998, just eight months before the Columbine School shooting, when he says, “we were able to stop an active shooting event at that school.”

“A student came with a loaded firearm on school grounds in a vehicle, prepared and ready to shoot other students at the end of the day.”

Chapman says a girl overheard the student say they had a gun. She decided to speak up and tell a hall monitor who notified Chapman and foiled the plot before it began.

“Credit goes to her for stopping a school shooting that was going to occur in the seventh period,” he said.

That moment was a “wake-up call” for Chapman, who began examining school shootings and prevented school shootings. His research led him to create a school training program called E.S.C.A.P.E. that taught students and staff the best actions to take to protect themselves during a shooting.

“Certainly the planning and prevention would be what all of us want. That it would never get to that point. But if it does come to that space we have teachers, we have students who are prepared to act. Because they understand and know what their options are,” he said.

But Chapman says, “we can do a lot better.”

After his retirement in January he joining the team at Aegix Global in Salt Lake City. The company sells “swift shields”, a foldable, lightweight bulletproof shield that can easily be stored and concealed in a classroom or office in case of an emergency.

But the company also offers technology that it says will fill the gap that exists when a shooting is underway at a place like a school.

“You have these students and staff who are really on their own for a moment of time, right? And what do you do then? What do you do?” Chapman said.

“And that’s really where that type of training comes in. And that’s where this app can help out.”

The phone app allows a school official to send out a customized alert to staff, letting them know of an active shooting or other emergency situation.

When the alert pops up on their phones, the app asks a few questions that allows teachers and other staff to notify others of where they are and whether they’re safe or need medical attention.

The app also includes a map of the campus where users can click on a building or room to see who is in there and whether they need help. All of this information would be available to responding officers and paramedics, alerting them of where the problem is and who needs help.

Chapman has learned in an active shooter situation, communication and timing can mean the difference between life and death.

“The quicker we can get in there, the more protection we can give them while they’re waiting for law enforcement. We anticipate that that will translate to lives saved and a better outcome overall,” he said.

“Saving time is saving lives. It truly is.”

Aegix says various law enforcement agencies and others are already using the technology. Cache County is also using it at its schools, police departments and cities.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Rescue workers attend the scene of a collapsed building on February 06, 2023 in Iskenderun Turkey. ...
Madison Swenson

Church area presidency releases statement following earthquakes in Turkey, Syria

The Europe Central Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a statement following the deadly earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria.
16 hours ago
Still from video of the moose.
(Scott Horne)...
Eliza Pace

Moose relocated from Eastwood elementary school playground

A moose gallivanting around Eastwood Elementary School was relocated by the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources.
16 hours ago
Two guns were recovered at the scene of a traffic stop in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. (...
Madison Swenson

Man arrested after threatening driver with gun in Salt Lake City

A 31-year-old man was arrested Monday morning after police say he threatened another person with a gun during a road rage incident.
16 hours ago
...
Karah Brackin

Group considers master plan for trail systems in three canyons

What do the next several years look like for trail usage and the health of the ecosystem? That’s what the Tri-Canyon Trails Master Plan will lay out with input from the public.
16 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Roy High teacher named ‘Most Valuable Educator’ by Utah Jazz, Instructure

KSL TV has teamed up with the Utah Jazz and Instructure to honor some of Utah's "Most Valuable Educators" this season.
16 hours ago
Bail has been revoked for a woman charged with murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter after...
Pat Reavy

Utah woman accused of killing daughter was making plans to flee country, prosecutors say

A judge has revoked bail for a woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter after prosecutors say the woman was making arrangements while in jail to try to flee the country.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Retired police captain continues work to protect schools with tech for teachers