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Haystax Technology Enhances School Safety for McAllen Independent School District

Date: 2015-05-04
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Launch of School Safety Center expands Haystax public safety initiatives across Texas


Haystax Technology, Inc., a leading provider of advanced analytics and cybersecurity solutions, today announced it will bolster school safety for the McAllen Independent School District (MISD), which spans 33 campuses and more than 30,000 students, teachers and employees in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. MISD will launch the Haystax School Safety Center, a cloud-based software platform that gives school administrators and public safety agencies a common operational picture of the school security environment, helping them better anticipate and respond to threats.

For a cost of less than two dollars per student per year, Haystax School Safety Center will integrate MISD’s critical threat and school facility information into a single alerting and monitoring tool – available any time, any place on any device. This will give the MISD Police Department and district leaders a 360-degree view of their area of operations while allowing MISD to maintain critical campus data and imagery, conduct safety audits, report and monitor incidents, and identify and continuously analyze potential school-related threats.

“I don't just want to control a crisis; I want to get ahead of it,” said Cris Esquivel, Chief of the McAllen ISD Police Department (right). “When we’re in an emergency situation we have to be able to both receive and disseminate accurate information without delay to the responding officers, parents, district leaders and the broader community. The School Safety Center is my source for that information.”

Located within five miles of a U.S. border, MISD has a unique set of public safety challenges. According to Chief Esquivel, the district selected Haystax School Safety Center because it provides a cost-effective way to protect its students from a range of fast-moving threats and natural hazards.

“Protecting our schools is a critical part of our mission at Haystax,” said Haystax CEO William B. Van Vleet III. “We are honored that McAllen Independent School District chose our technology to safeguard its students and staff from the increasing number of threats that face all schools today.”

Built on expertise gained during more than a decade of developing analytic software and services for the defense, intelligence and homeland security communities, Haystax School Safety Center offers MISD an integrated ecosystem of school safety software tools, including:

  1. Threat Streams Module: Ingesting feeds from RSS news sources and Twitter, the Threat Streams module can analyze and prioritize data using natural language processing and sentiment-analysis capabilities. Users receive instantaneous ‘flash’ alerts when a threat of major significance is identified, viewable either in a list view or on the digital map module that is included with the School Safety Center.
  2. Incident Reporting and Tracking Module: School police officers and other school staffers with authorized access can report suspicious activity or incidents, transmit geo-coded photos, and disseminate threat and crime information to a broader group. The information can be viewed in list format or on the Map module, and automated incident summary reports can be generated on a regular basis to MISD stakeholders.
  3. School Assets and Assessment Modules: These are comprised of an asset catalog for capturing and maintaining detailed information about school facilities and key personnel, plus a web-based field assessment tool, which is tailored to conform to state-wide school safety assessment guidelines. The facilities data for each school can be viewed on their own page, and an online safety assessment can be completed for each school. Both asset and assessment data can be viewed on the map.

Chief Esquivel noted, “We have seen some of these capabilities before, but they have always been separate stand-alone tools. What I like about the School Safety Center is that everything is in one place. It’s my one-stop shop for critical school data and photos, emergency plans, floor plans, news and social media.”

MISD joins a growing list of Texas-based agencies and organizations that leverage Haystax Technology’s advanced threat analytics capabilities to help secure mission-critical operations and protect citizens. This list includes the Dallas Police Department’s Fusion Center, Fort Worth Emergency Management, Dallas Mayor’s Office, Houston Mayor’s Office and San Antonio Emergency Management.

For more information about Haystax, visit 

- Corporate News/ (via Haystax Technology, Inc, 4/28/15)




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