“This is kind of a game-changer.”
“It’s more than just looking at video – more than just looking at some archaic system.”
─ Steven Salazar, Supervisor, Transportation, Round Rock [Texas] Independent School District
Just over a year ago, Round Rock ISD integrated REI’s ARMOR™ Software Suite for fleet management into its 275+ vehicle operation.
“We recognized the need to view bus video and the telematics that go along with it, because we need to share that. Not just between us, but with other agencies too. It had to be reliable. We needed to get video quickly, because some of our incidents are time sensitive and require security. The software we had in the past was not reliable and troubleshooting on a professional level was really almost nonexistent,” adds Salazar.
The district has realized amazing results in fleet efficiency and safety ever since.
ARMOR consolidates several, customizable modules for automated monitoring and reporting on driver performance, stop-arm systems, bus diagnostics, recorded events, live surveillance views, and student ridership. After integrating ARMOR with its camera surveillance systems, Round Rock ISD experienced major shifts in the time and effort needed to address daily operations.
Round Rock ISD Transportation Director, Tina Fausett, recounts, “We got a call about damage to a bus. Subsequently, we talked to the driver about what had taken place. So, ARMOR being as good as it is, we made the request and 15 minutes later, video is sitting there on our desks. We could see what actually happened and hear it all. From beginning to end, by the time we got the call to the time we finished talking to the police, it was probably no more than an hour and a half. Typically, that would have taken an entire morning.”
Salazar continues, “What ARMOR has given us is time. It’s something we didn’t have with our previous services. We don’t have to go out to a lot and pull a hard drive. Being able to request video over the Wi-Fi network reduces any friction encountered with that process. For example, retrieving the keys to the DVR and locating the bus on the lot are both time-consuming tasks. Time is money, and ARMOR has given everybody who uses it on a daily basis more of that time. So, we can get back to what your primary jobs are – to keep kids safe and secure. ARMOR, along with the cameras involved, has freed us up to do all those things.”
The software suite has also proven to be an invaluable training tool for the district.
Salazar explains, “Just this morning, we saw a video that was pulled up by an action that we set up – a simple thing like speeding. We watched the video and then noticed several transgressions. So, what that enabled us to do in a short time is modify that driver’s behavior. We can say ‘hey look, this is what’s going on, this is what we noticed, and this is what needs to happen.’ Without that ARMOR capability, that would have never happened. The driver would have continued to put students’ lives in danger – and his own.”
Dealing with the added protocols necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has presented special challenges to school districts.
Salazar describes ARMOR’s use in preventing the spread of coronavirus, “This is a big deal. We’re going through a pandemic and the video we’re able to get has played a significant role in performing case reviews and identifying close contacts. Because of ARMOR, we’re able to pull up video reliably and easily to get information to campuses that day. It’s as simple as putting that request into ARMOR and ARMOR automatically downloads the requested video.”
PEACE OF MIND
In addition to the safety and timesaving benefits provided by the software, Rock Round ISD’s transportation department is realizing greater peace of mind.
Fausett states, “ARMOR was built in-house and their [REI] professionalism has been amazing. It’s 24/7. They are very aware of what they sell. We call one person, and they get us to the right person. They’re not even in our state and we feel like we have someone here in our state.”
She continues, “ARMOR’s integration with our district’s operation has been pretty seamless. We’ve set up an internal process, so our campuses are able to request video. I feel comfortable that we can go and see what really happened, so that we can take care of the incident and protect our people from the possibility of false claims or something not really happening as reported.”
In conclusion, Fausett comments, “With its efficiency and effectiveness, it’s just amazing for our district and, of course, transportation. We’re very proud to have that system in our operation and feel very confident and comfortable that our students are going to be transported to and from schools safely. ARMOR is one of the main reasons I sleep well at night.”