in-class safety

Houston company forms strategic alliance to enhance tech-enabled school security

School security emergency notification systems just got an upgrade. Photo via Getty Images

Students are back to school, and parents are back to worrying about their children's safety. Two companies have teamed up to enhance on-campus safety technology.

Houston-based Raptor Technologies, a school safety software provider, and Baltimore-based Alertus Technologies, provider of emergency mass notification solutions, announced earlier this month they will team up with their respective technologies to integrate enhance safety and security offerings in K-12 schools and districts.

The partnership, according to a news release, takes Alertus’ notification solutions and combines it with Raptor’s emergency management and reunification tools. Alertus’ tech includes Alertus Desktop, IP Text-to-Speech Interface for PA systems, and a range of hardwired and pocket-sized activation devices. With the integration, K-12 schools utilizing Raptor Technologies can automatically send emergency notifications to all alerting modalities unified by the Alertus Mass Notification System on Raptor Connect.

“School districts across the country are recognizing the value of being able to quickly initiate an alert and notify staff and teachers in the event of a school emergency,” says Chris Noell, chief product officer of Raptor Technologies, in the release. “By integrating with Alertus, we’re expanding the ways users can rapidly access Raptor Alert to trigger an alert and increasing the ways a campus can be notified of an emergency.”

Several states, including Texas, Florida, New Jersey and New York, have emphasized funding or mandates to make mobile panic alerts available to schools.

“Every second counts in an emergency and our top priority is ensuring that schools have every possible way to get urgent, life-saving information to their students, teachers and staff – both during and after a critical event,” says Patrick Dennin, director of education at Alertus, in the release. “Our integration with Raptor enables schools to alert, respond, and recover more effectively by reducing response times, reinforcing stakeholder responsibilities and mitigating risk to their communities.”

Over 7,500 schools nationwide are on Raptor's alert platform. Founded in 2002 and with over 100 employees at the company, Raptor Technologies received private equity funding and made a strategic international acquisition last year, InnovationMap reported.

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Building Houston


Houston Community College will have a new program this fall focused on smart building tech. Photo via

Houston Community College will launch a new 60-hour Smart Building Technology program this fall, the college announced last week.

The program will train students on the installation of low-voltage controls, such as audio/visual systems, energy management, lighting controls, security cameras, burglar and fire alarm systems, retail and grocery store automation, medical automation and more, according to HCC. Students will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree after completing the program.

“This program is both cutting edge and down to earth,” Matt Adams, instructor and program coordinator for HCC’s Electrical Technology program, said in a statement.

"A lot of new technology is coming into this industry, but a lot of the technology is the same as it has been for the last five to 10 years," he went on to add. "What is new is the integration of it all, making it all work together, to make people’s lives better.”

The Smart Building Technology program will be part of HCC Central’s Electrical Technology program in the Architectural Design and Construction Center of Excellence (COE). According to the college, it's one of the first programs of its kind.

Adams says that the earning potential in this line of work starts at around $50,000 a year, with the potential to earn double that with additional learning and training.

In late 2022, HCC and partners also received a $1.8 million grant from JP Morgan Chase to launch a new certificate program to help residents who come from some of Houston’s most underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods find career opportunities in the clean energy, disaster response, utilities, trades and manufacturing fields. Partnering employers included The City of Houston, Harris County and TRIO Electric.

Meanwhile, Houston Methodist and Texas A&M University graduated the inaugural class from its School of Engineering Medicine earlier this month.

Graphic courtesy of HCC

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