ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools is using new technology to keep its staff and students safe. It’s a way for teachers to ask for help quickly.

For years, APS has added new security measures to their schools to keep students and staff safe including alarms, cameras, locks on doors, and fencing. Now, they’re spending more than $7 million on technology called Centegix, which will help with responding to problems on campus.

“It’s a card that will help our staff be able to ask for assistance in the case of an emergency. It can be anything from a schoolyard fight, medical emergency, or in the case of an active shooter,” said Chief Operations Officer for APS, Dr. Gabriella Blakey.

According to Dr. Blakey, the key cards will allow staff to call for help more quickly than trying to call by phone or walkie-talkie. If it’s not an emergency, or what Dr. Blakey calls an everyday situation, teachers or staff will press the button 3 times for help from the school office. That’s for cases like a fight, an uneasy student, or a minor injury on the playground. 

If it’s an emergency, like an active shooter, the staff member would press the badge multiple times to contact the police.

“It hopefully will give our staff a sense of security and knowing that they are not alone or isolated if they need assistance with anything,” said Dr. Blakey.

This comes after teachers complained they have a hard time calling for help in some situations. The badges have a location device installed on them. They will work on every APS school and cover the entire campus. The district believes this will lead to quicker response times.

Dr. Blakey added, “Just knowing that as a teacher or a principal, to be able to respond to something in the classroom, I think just gives us the environment where we feel like we have to tools we need to be successful.”

The district is using federal and capital funds to support the new tech. Administrators mentioned they hope to have the system installed in most schools by the Fall. They said all schools will have the new technology by October.