SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) – Dispatch communication was a top priority during a Marjory Stoneman Douglas commission meeting in Sunrise.
Four and a half years since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy, the safety commission met again to look at what’s being done to make schools safer.
“When that 911 call was made, it didn’t go to Broward Sheriff’s Office, it went to Coral Springs Police Department, so today, four and a half years later, if a kid in Stoneman Douglas High School today pick up their cell phone to call 911, where is that call going?” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
“That is going to Coral Springs,” responded Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.
One colossal failure on Feb. 14, 2018 was radio communication. The CAD system, or Computer Aided Dispatch, or 911 calls, were going to Coral Springs Police Department, which is not tied to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“Four and a half years later, and it’s still not fixed. That’s just extremely frustrating,” said Max Schacter, whose son died in the shooting.
“It is. It is frustrating, and I will tell you, look, I don’t cut corners or anything, I don’t have time for it,” said Tony. “We need to get this done. We put out everything that we could upfront from BSO standpoint, but this is now down to the county and Coral Springs, and they need to figure it out.”
Coral Springs has since changed its system to one used in cities like Washington D.C., and claims the county does not let Coral Springs embed the two together, which 7News was told it can at any point, but the county is claiming security issues.
“We know that progress is slow. It is very disappointing to hear some of these longer term problems that have taken too long to fix, but it’s a step-by-step approach,” said Tony Montalto, whose daughter was killed in the shooting.
“In this radio here, we have Broward Sheriff’s Office’s main channels to communicate with the deputies in Parkland,” said Coral Springs/Parkland Fire Rescue Chief Mike Moser.
All police officers across the county can communicate via radio and have been trained to tune into a specific channel for big events.
“It’s a little bit more organized, easier to get to, and predetermine that those are the channels that can be used,” said Moser.
Broward County Public Schools also addressed the commission, from cameras, up and running video intercoms at single point of entry, auto locking doors and metal detectors. The list goes on, and the school district is getting high praise from commissioners.
“A lot of work has been accomplished, but in areas of school safety, you never stop working, so we have ways to go still, but we’ve come a long way,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Vickie Cartwright.
Work for the MSD safety commission continues. According to commissioners, Tuesday, their work has been extended by the governor’s office until 2026.
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