DefenCall Blog feeds for 60 should be able to order a lockdown?<p>The new school year has started and across the country, educators, public safety personnel and parents are reflecting on ways to better ensure the safety of the nation’s children.</p> <img src="" border="0" alt="School Lockdwon" class="alignRight" style="float: right;"> <p>Among the discussions of safety audits, better training and long-term planning, there remain two simple keys to a successful outcome when an incident occurs:</p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 13px;">School personnel must be able to make effective contact with first responders to send help . A quick response can greatly limit the scope of an incident.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 13px;">All school staff need to be made aware that an incident is in progress so they can take appropriate action, such as initiating a lockdown. Immediately taking protective action can save lives.</span></li> </ul> <p>Along these lines there would be no argument that any teacher or staff member should be able to “call 911” in an emergency,  but what about the question of ordering a lockdown?</p> <p>On one level, one could make the argument that only school officials should have the discretion to call a lockdown. But, what about teachers and other staff members? We are willing to trust them with our children and are now asking them to step up and be “first defenders.” And as we’ve seen in recent incidents, school principals and administrators may be rendered unable to act. Or they may not have enough information to make the call without trying to access the situation, which can waste precious time as an incident is rapidly unfolding.</p> <p>We believe that any school staff member should be empowered to order a lockdown if they personally witness circumstances that may be or become a serious incident, such as an armed intruder on school grounds. Some may argue that this will lead to more false alarms, but if one serious incident can be prevented or the impact can be decreased, we think it’s worth it.</p> <p><a href="" title="Join the discussion on Linkedin." target="_self"><strong>Join the discussion on Linkedin.</strong></a></p> <img src="">Michael ForbesWed, 18 Sep 2013 13:18:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:336250 teachers need to become a new type of First Responder?<p><img src="" border="0" alt="Do teachers need to become a new type of First Responder?" class="alignRight" style="float: right;">Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day and I’d like to thank personally all of the teachers who will make a difference in students’ lives today…and on the other 364 days of the year. I’d also like to step back and take a look at the role teachers are being asked to play in light of recent events.</p> <p>The news that the Sandy Hook teachers and staff killed in the tragedy were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor got me thinking about this. While it is altogether fitting to recognize these educators who gave everything to protect students, it also forces us to ask the difficult question, “what are we asking teachers to become?”</p> <p>We are hearing a lot about arming teachers, self-locking doors, surprise active shooter drills and giving teachers panic buttons to call for help (which is what we do). It seems that we are asking our teachers to become “first responders.” And to a degree we are. But just as we have first responders dedicated to firefighting, police activity and emergency medical care, we need to ask our teachers to become a new specialized type of first responder – one that can create a healthy environment for learning while being always vigilant to the threat of violence.</p> <p>But the task at hand for teachers is in many ways more complex than other first responders. A firefighter puts out a fire, EMTs treat people in need, but teachers are much more like community policing officers. They need to be aware of the dynamics of a community and promote positive goals within that community, while remaining always ready to take action when threats occur. But the goal is not only to “keep the peace,” but to teach, nurture and protect our children at the same time.  </p> <p>This is a delicate balancing act, especially in light of the need for increased security in our schools. Security is vital but we can’t let the quest for safety to overshadow the need to create a positive, supportive learning process where students feel free and safe.</p> <p>To that end, here are some observations about school safety and the evolving role of teachers.</p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 13px;">It “can happen here” and teachers must be prepared to act. But we must engage teachers in the security process without them losing their focus on educating students in a positive and free environment. What this means is that teachers as “first responders” will need to be “eyes and ears” to report danger and be well prepared to follow the right procedures to protect students when an incident occurs.</span></li> <li>Security is best when you know it's there, but don't see it in operation. This is especially true for students who should be free to focus on learning rather than the specter of violence. When security is obvious and overpowering, it becomes a constant reminder of danger instead of a reassurance against it.</li> <li><span style="font-size: 13px;">We have got to find the right balance between ensuring safety and fostering learning. And the stakes are high as the loss of either could be equally tragic. Teachers will be at the forefront of whether we succeed or fail at this.</span></li> </ul> <p>Regardless of what your feelings are about school safety, one thing is clear:  teaching has always been a challenging profession and it is becoming even more demanding in our changing world.</p> <p>I’d like to end by again thanking our teachers for all their hard work and dedication and invite you to share your thoughts on teachers as a new kind of “first responder.” </p> <img src="">Michael ForbesTue, 07 May 2013 11:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:277684 Blog: Will Acts of Terrorism Ever Stop? Can Your Smart Phone Help?<h5><em>We are pleased to welcome our guest blogger, educator Rick Ackerly of <a href=""></a> </em></h5> <p>Will acts of terrorism ever stop? A question born of wishful thinking, I’m afraid. Even though our world is actually <a href="">becoming safer</a>, hornets nests of anger and frustration will still erupt into violence from time to time. With 7 billion people struggling to keep their heads above water in a rising tide of change, what are the odds that there will be outbreaks of rage? A mathematical certainty.</p> <p><a href=""><img id="img-1366318590610" src="" border="0" alt="boston bombing - Google Search" width="172" height="149" class="alignRight" style="height: 149px; width: 173px; float: right;"></a>The discussion about how to improve school safety ranges from arming teachers to installing auto-locking doors. Is there anything we individuals can do to increase the chances of the safety for our children, or at least to keep terrorism out of our souls? Maybe.</p> <p>In a recent conversation on the topic of panic buttons, my brother sent me the following link and listed some arguments for smartphone panic buttons. Would you put this <a href="">app on your smart phone</a>?</p> <p>With one click on this panic button on your smart phone you can:</p> <p>- Dial 911 automatically</p> <p>- Send alert messages to Police/Resource Officers/School Administrators/loved ones, including your GPS location</p> <p>- Send safety protocols for teachers and staff to follow during an incident</p> <p>- Start protecting kids immediately while you develop your long term safety plans.</p> <p>- And the cost is much lower than wired panic buttons</p> <p>How could such an app help? What do you think? Would you use one? Why? Why not? Would you buy it for the teachers and parents at your school?</p> <p>If we can’t ensure that we will eliminate terrorism from our schools, maybe we can at least keep it out of our souls.</p> <p class="technorati-tags">Rick Ackerly<br>Guest Blogger<br><a href=""></a> </p> <img src="">Jim AckerlyThu, 18 Apr 2013 20:54:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:266572 Gunman Found at University of Rhode Island - But What If?<div><span style="font-size: 1em;"><img id="img-1365103902178" src="`3.png" border="0" alt="Campus Safety" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;">In what is becoming too commonplace an occurrence, we've again been forced to consider the unthinkable by a <a href="" title="report of a gunman on a campus" target="_blank">report of a gunman on a campus</a>. Based on the report, the campus went in to immediate lockdown while police began a methodical search for the potential shooter. Thankfully, today's incident at the University of Rhode Island turned out to be a false alarm, but it begs the question, are we doing enough to protect students and staff?</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 1em;"><br></span></div> <div></div> <div>We at DefenCall are acutely aware of the need for improved communication and preparedness in a potential deadly situation like a gunman on campus. We have recently published a white paper that looks at how inbound emergency alerting can provide vital help in an incident like this. <span style="font-size: 1em;">The white paper shows how smartphone technology can offer a number of potentially life-saving tools from allowing students and staff to "call for help" while transmitting their precise GPS location, to providing approved procedures for students to follow to increase their personal safety.</span></div> <br> <div>To explore more on the topic of inbound emergency alerting, please feel free to download our new "<a href="" title="Guide to Inbound Emergency Alerting for Colleges & Universities" target="_self">Guide to Inbound Emergency Alerting for Colleges & Universities</a>" white paper. This white paper explains what inbound emergency alerting is, how it works and why you should consider it as part of your school safety toolbox.  </div> <img src="">Michael ForbesThu, 04 Apr 2013 19:01:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:254067 Hook Advisory Committee releases interim report<p><span>The interim report to Connecticut Governor Malloy is out and filled with observations and recommendations. We invite your reactions. </span><a href="">Read the whole report here.</a></p> <img src="">Jim AckerlyMon, 18 Mar 2013 16:39:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:242746 on Sandy Hook Tragedy<p>December 14, 2012.  Norwalk, CT.<br> As we sort through the facts and circumstances surrounding today’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we have been asked if DefenCall could have helped.  Yes and No, is the answer.</p> <p>While there is limited practical defense against a deranged person doing something unspeakable, DefenCall would, in this instance, have been helpful for parents, teachers, students and the community in notifying authorities, coordinating information on injuries and survivors, and providing action steps to those on the scene.</p> <p>There is no implication that the response was anything short of perfect, given the situation.  With the use of the DefenCall panic button, however, we can identify all witnesses and their locations and provide a communications vehicle for informing those involved on what to do, where to go, and how to stay safe.</p> <p>This has been a tragic day for the school, the town, the state and the country – indeed anyone with children has been touched.  There is no way to know if we could have changed the outcome, but we would certainly have added a coordinated layer of communication which would give comfort and guidance in this time of tremendous stress.</p> <img src="">James AckerlyFri, 14 Dec 2012 18:59:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:234307 Berkeley launches StaySafe, DefenCall – customized for them<p>March 18, 2012 – Defentect Group, Inc. (OTCBB: DFTC), a developer and provider of immediate response and intelligent messaging software solutions, announced today that Campus StaySafe™, the Company’s proprietary safety and security SmartPhone application, is now available to the students, faculty and staff of the University of California at Berkeley.  Sponsored by the Associated Students of University of California (ASUC) and using security insights from Defentect’s partner MayDay360, the application is the first of its kind in the industry.</p> <p>Defentect’s flagship SmartPhone application, DefenCall, was created in 2009 using the Company’s patented software platform to allow a user to broadcast his or her GPS location from anywhere in the world and notify family and key personnel in the event of an emergency. At the request of the ASUC, Campus StaySafe™ was initiated to provide localized security and safety information to its users in conjunction with the core messaging and personal emergency awareness features of DefenCall.</p> <p>“This is the application we have been seeking for over two years,” reported Joey Freeman, External Affairs VP.  “The combination of MayDay360’s security experience, the experience of our local campus police organization, the desires of the student body for information and the core application developed by Defentect was exactly what we wanted.  In Campus StaySafe™, we now have the preventive information we want and the emergency capabilities we need.”</p> <p>“We are delighted to have forged our first campus security relationship with the ASUC and the University of California at Berkeley,” stated James Ackerly, CEO of Defentect. “The most important feature of Campus StaySafe™ is that it combines pointers about safety that apply to students everywhere, localized information on programs operated by the University, and the communications links to reach first responders immediately when needed all in one application; and, it is available for download on a device that millions of people already carry – the SmartPhone,” Ackerly went on to say.</p> <img src="">James AckerlyMon, 19 Mar 2012 17:58:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:234305 customer Mayday360 on CBS TV<p><strong><img src="" alt="Screen shot 2010 10 09 at 12.30.20 PM" class="alignRight" style="float: right;" border="0">NEW YORK (CBS 2)</strong> — Last weekend, the <a href="" target="_blank">U.S. State Department</a> issued a terror warning for anyone traveling to Europe. At this point, nothing has happened, but it raises the question: what should you do if you find your self in harm’s way, while over seas?</p> <p>The founders of the website,, <a href="" target="_blank">security</a> expert Robert Strang, and Ross Thompson came to CBS 2HD with advice.  Click to see video >> <a href="">MayDay360 on CBS</a></p> <img src="">James AckerlySat, 09 Oct 2010 17:57:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:234303’s Time For Personal ‘OnStar’-Like Security<p><img id="img-1362596156028" src="" alt="Rob Enderle" class="alignRight" style="float: right;" border="0"><a href="" target="_blank">Here’s a guy who gets it</a>.<br> [This is an edited version of Rob Enderle's blog, the entirety of which is linked above.]</p> <p>I recently saw a story about a young child who, upon being confronted by armed robbers in his home, had the presence of mind to lock himself in a bathroom with his younger sister and call 911. Doing so likely saved the lives of everyone in the house. Because this outcome is unusual, I think it’s time we looked at personal security more closely.</p> <p>With GPS capabilities built into phones that can be made ever smaller, and the ability for these phones to transmit both sound and audio, isn’t it time to think about a wearable device that could be used to call for help and accurately report what was happening? That would limit hoaxes and dispatchers who didn’t take real crimes seriously. …</p> <p>…The need for personal security remains very high. Already this year we have had a number of women killed, children killed or kidnapped, and armed robberies including home invasions. On top of that, there are ongoing heart attacks, drug overdoses, and accidents (as detailed by the OnStar ads) that highlight a need for a device and service that could be with you wherever you are and get you help when you needed it much more quickly and effectively than a traditional cell phone.</p> <p>Much like you have security services to protect your home and business, I think there has always been a need for personal protection that falls below those who can afford bodyguards. Such a solution would likely have two parts: a hardware component with sensors you would wear, and a service that would connect to it that, like the security service for your home, would know who to call for help based on the alert and know where you were so it could direct first responders.</p> <p>[He goes on...]<br> Note that the DefenCall solution requires no hardware beyond a smartphone and costs under $0.17 per day.[admin]</p> <img src="">James AckerlyTue, 28 Sep 2010 17:54:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:234297 Holloway’s mother goes to prison where van der Sloot is held<p><strong><img src="" alt="Screen shot 2010 09 17 at 2.34.07 PM" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" border="0">(CNN)</strong> — The mother of missing American teen Natalee Holloway is in Peru with a Dutch documentary maker — and made a trip to the prison where the man suspected in Holloway’s disappearance sits, her lawyer said Friday.</p> <p>Producers for the the Dutch journalist who is accompanying Beth Holloway posted a note on his official website that said the journalist, Peter de Vries, and the mother made a trip to Castro Castro prison to see suspect Joran van der Sloot. <a href="" target="_blank"> For the whole story, click here.</a></p> <img src="">James AckerlyFri, 17 Sep 2010 17:53:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:234296<p><img src="" alt="lpb3a" class="alignRight" style="float: right;" border="0">From our Chairman – Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, III</p> <p>Welcome to DefenCall, which we are sure will add significantly to your personal safety and security as well as that of the organizations and people to whom you are closest.  I encourage you to share your comments here.  We look forward to your thoughts on our exciting new product and its many uses.</p> <img src="">James AckerlyTue, 08 Jun 2010 17:52:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:234295 Holloway to open Natalee Holloway Resource Center<p><img src="" alt="Screen shot 2010 09 17 at 2.43.07 PM 150x150" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" border="0">Washington DC (CBS) Five years ago, in May 2005, Alabama high school student Natalee Holloway disappeared during a senior class trip to Aruba. Next week the <a href="" target="_blank">Natalee Holloway Resource Center (NHRC)</a> will open in Washington, D.C., in a joint effort between Holloway’s mother and the National Museum of Crime & Punishment.</p> <p>The center, according to The Washington Post, will be a nonprofit operation designed primarily to assist families searching for missing relatives.</p> <p></p> <img src="">James AckerlyFri, 28 May 2010 17:47:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:234287