As children in Israel return to school this week, parents can be more confident that their kids will be safe. A new security system for guards at institutions is being installed throughout the country, meant to ensure that they get to the scene immediately when a problem arises.
The project is managed by Israeli security firm OK2GO, which specializes in systems to record employee attendance, time clock systems, voice and fingerprint recognition, alerts, and other security-related systems. OK2GO will be supplying schools across Israel with a location-based detection system that can keep track of the location and movements of security personnel at schools throughout the workday.
The purpose of the system, according to OK2GO CEO Samuel Madar, is not necessarily to keep track of employees. “We are working with police, local authorities, the Education Ministry, and the schools directly to ensure that security officials know where guards at all times, so they can pinpoint who is closest to the scene when an emergency happens,” said Madar. “The information will not only ensure that emergencies and problems are dealt with as quickly as possible, but will also enable managers to build a more effective security plan, deploying personnel as efficiently as possible.”
The system utilizes employees’ smartphones, taking advantage of GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-fi in devices to transmit information about security guard locations. The information is uploaded to a website, administered by managers from a PC or tablet. Text and other messages can be sent to individuals or an entire group, based on geographic location — so if a problem develops in one school, personnel in other nearby schools can be alerted and brought in to help. The system works with any smart device, regardless of platform or service provider.
In addition, OK2GO is installing panic buttons in many classrooms, especially for children in lower grades. If a problem arises, teachers can press the button, automatically notifying security personnel in the building — and managers — that there is a problem. Once on-site, security personnel can assess the situation and call for more assistance, while letting managers know if an ambulance, police, or other help is needed.
Schools aren’t the only Israeli organizations using OK2GO’s systems. The company recently contracted with the Israel Police for a similar location-based personnel management system, and clients in Israel include large companies such as Elco, Unilever, Electra, and others. And the company is also making its presence felt abroad. OK2GO recently established a branch office in Brazil to better serve its clients in South America. “Brazil is a good place for our technology,” said Madar. “It’s a big country but not so organized, because workers for service firms, distributors, and others need to cover large territories, much of it in rough terrain. With our system, managers can stay in contact with their people much more efficiently.”