Revised July 29, 2021
Technology: Response Technologies Emergency Notification System
Partner: Tri-County Communications
It did not take long for the City of Mission Police Department and the City of Mission Courthouse in South Texas to appreciate the value of their recently acquired panic and duress system. Within five days of having the emergency notification system installed, it was put to the test, enabling courtroom officials and law enforcement to quickly apprehend an inmate who escaped a courtroom.
–Unknown to the escaped inmate, all those emergency alerts were launched prior to his even exiting the judge’s chambers.
One May morning, before court was in session, an inmate who was handcuffed and seated in the courtroom determined to escape. He bolted past the recorder’s bench, rushed out the rear courtroom exit into the hallway, and from there entered an occupied judge’s chamber. The judge reflexively activated his Centurion Elite panic button. Within two seconds, that button press generated multiple emergency alerts to several receivers:
- nearby police radios were notified
- computer screens alerted staff to the emergency
- a strobe light began flashing in the clerk’s office
- an emergency door, separating the courts for such emergencies, was unlocked, as designed.
Unknown to the escaping inmate, all emergency alerts were launched prior to his even exiting the judge’s chambers. After fleeing the judge’s chamber, the inmate made his way to the clerk’s office where staff had also triggered their panic buttons, but the police were already on their way. The inmate then exited the clerk’s office and escaped the building where he persisted on foot.
Authorities had already been notified by the first panic button transmitted to police radio, and police were already converging on the area. A detective near the courthouse heard the duress message, spotted the inmate, and began to pursue him on foot. Also, an alerted officer in a nearby patrol car joined the chase and law enforcement quickly captured the inmate. The inmate didn’t stand a chance with the immediate presence of mind by the judge, courthouse staff, and the necessary technology. The police were alerted within 2 seconds of that first panic button press.
The system the city installed, which has been engineered for these emergency events, is The Centurion Elite® Panic System. It enabled the courthouse officials and staff to immediately alert law enforcement, direct to police radio without a phone call or dispatch, which resulted in the above outcome. Because the inmate had the reckless boldness to dart from a courtroom, it is scary to think what violence could have occurred had authorities not arrived so quickly. The Centurion Elite® system gave the authorities the upper hand.
Robert Dominguez, Mission PD Chief of Police stated, “Obviously we wanted an alarm system that would provide us with unique and personalized capabilities to meet specific requirements for our building complex. After much research we elected to purchase the Response Technologies Centurion Elite® emergency response system. It demonstrated right away that it provided us with capabilities to lock and unlock specific doors, initiate visual-only alerts, and provide a ‘dispatched’ call over the radio, specific to the type and location of the alarm.
In retrospect, [given our history of] never having incidents like this occur in the past, it is so ironic that only days after the Response Technologies’ system was installed, it was put to actual use.”
We were pleased that the City made the right decision by putting the lives of public officials and public safety personnel first.
- Designed: Police were able to quickly engage this convict because of a pre-programmed, location-based duress system message that immediately called them into action and alerts and triggers within the courthouse unlocked/locked exits and warned staff
- Dependable: The Centurion Elite® is a platform that is ready to alert, inform and react. It intelligently self-monitors and alerts administrators to any problems, including missing panic buttons or low batteries, all while remaining functional in the case of a power outage by using back-up power supplies.
- Distinctive: Response Technologies and their partnering teams always listen to the needs of our customer to help develop the best possible communication and emergency response plan. Centurion Elite® is a precisely engineered, purpose-built, end-to-end solution that provides immediate notifications to first responders. We help you choose ideal sensor and button placement and craft customized outgoing alert messages. Centurion Elite® is adaptable and designed to accommodate your unique needs and can integrate with many adjacent systems.
“We will never be able to predict when an emergency will occur, but our wireless platform will be ready when the need arises, as the above account shows. In the case of this end user, it proved its worth just a few days after installation. Thanks to collaborative teamwork, the City of Mission was prepared for this emergency and will be for any forthcoming” said Matt Volkerding, VP of Sales, Response Technologies.
To learn more about Centurion Elite® and our other turnkey solutions, or to request an online demonstration, Visit us at https://www.response-technologies.com
Or contact us at 1.800.537.0102 or at KCorson@Response-Technologies.com