Parsippany-based company creates ‘Don’t Panic Button’ to help with school security

Schools throughout New Jersey are looking at new technology to help save lives in a potential crisis.
There is New Jersey-based company that has created a device that can help. It is a button no bigger than a quarter. It is designed to be inconspicuous and to be able to attach to a lanyard worn by a schoolteacher.
Clicking the button can send an alert via text to a school principal, nurse or security.
"The person who receives that alert from the technology is going to know the location, nature of the emergency and also know others have been notified about it,” says Tom Bermingham, vice president of operations for CIA Omnigage.
The Parsippany company developed the device. It comes as a button or slightly larger terminal.
Bermingham says the device gives teachers three options. Two clicks might mean there is a fight in a classroom. A third click could be for something more serious like an active shooter on school grounds.
“There’s a third click that may be a long hold,” says Berminham. “That would be a ‘Code Red’ – the highest level of an emergency.”
Teachers in many schools already have access to phone or a panic button in the classroom. But those are generally in common areas like a gym or cafeteria. This system puts that button on the teachers body all day long."
Many schools are taking a hard look at this type of subtle classroom security in the wake multiple school shootings across the country in the last few years. Some teachers in these shootings have found themselves face to face with a gunman
CIA Omnigage is in talks solely with New Jersey schools. The schools would have to deal with a cost. In a larger school it could be anywhere from $90,000 to $100,000 per year.
“The cost would be approximately $300 per year per teacher,” Bermingham says.
Bermingham says talks are serious enough that CIA Omnigage expects to have their "Don't Panic Button” in classrooms by fall of 2023.
The company says it can have these devices in a school and operational within two weeks.