Uvalde launches new mobile app with panic alert system for employees

Uvalde residents can submit anonymous tips to the SaferWatch app

The City of Uvalde has launched a mobile panic alert system in the wake of the shootings at Robb Elementary School and Uvalde Memorial Park.

Mayor Don McLaughlin announced the SaferWatch program on Wednesday, stating that it “facilitates real-time communications in two directions.”

A news release states that authorized employees can push a panic button on the SaferWatch app, and that alarm will notify the Uvalde Police Department dispatch center and initiate a lockdown.

Authorities at the site of the emergency will also be notified.

Authorized employees will also be able to instant message the dispatcher and send videos and photos in case they are unable to speak.

The release adds that Uvalde residents and all city employees can download the SaferWatch app and send anonymous tips to the police.

“Enhancing public safety and protecting our students and community remains my top priority,” McLaughlin said in the release. “...It lets law enforcement notify the community about potential public safety concerns, and, in turn, enables members of the community to notify the police department about active and potential criminal activity.”

Uvalde CISD Superintendent Hal Harrell said they are looking forward to how the app will help students and staff.

The launch was announced as questions and criticism remain over law enforcement’s response to the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary.

A week ago, two people were shot at the Uvalde Memorial Park in what police described as gang-related violence. The shooting happened about two miles from Robb Elementary.

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.