Panic buttons for San Miguel
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
On May 17 representatives of several associations of hotels and restaurants in the state gathered in San Miguel for a meeting with Álvar Cabeza de Vaca Apendini, secretary of the State Public Security Department. As part of the statewide security Programa Escudo (shield) the secretary handed out 70 “panic buttons.” Cabeza de Vaca said that more than 20,000 buttons will be disseminated in the state in the coming days.
The buttons were handed out first to organizations, so they could be used as soon as possible. Cabeza de Vaca remarked that the buttons are being handed out at no cost, but in the future they could be for sale if an individual wants to buy one. The buttons do not need more than a telephone line to operate.
According to the secretary, the locations of the buttons were selected based on four criteria. They are places where crowds gather, such as bars, churches or schools. There must be some type of monetary transaction taking place, which would appeal to thieves. There must be vulnerable groups present, such as women or children. Finally, locations were chosen where there is a high index of crime. “It would be pointless to install these buttons in places where nothing ever happens,” said Cabeza de Vaca.
The buttons will be connected to an emergency center that will have a database of basic information about the place and its location. When the panic button is pressed, an operator from the emergency center will call the establishment to get more information and dispatch security personnel to the site.
The Programa Escudo (Shield) has the aim not only of safeguarding the borders of the state with surveillance cameras but also of providing better and faster responses to calls received at emergency numbers. Escudo is a tool to improve conditions for residents and visitors to the state. In San Miguel, more than 100 surveillance cameras were installed over some roadways. The installation of a total of 526 panic buttons in the city is also in progress.