JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – An extra layer of security could be coming to Johnson City Schools early next year.

The Johnson City Board of Education approved a five-year contract with Central Technologies that would allow emergency response buttons to be worn on the badges of all JCS teachers and staff.

These buttons can serve several purposes for teachers and staff. For example, a specific push can alert an administrator in the case of a localized incident or a medical emergency. A separate push could call for an even bigger response from first responders, however.

JCS Supervisor of Safety and Mental Health Greg Wallace said this could be beneficial for Johnson City Schools.

“It’s just a way to be more efficient,” Wallace said. “It’s going to locate them directly where they are and it’s going to get people there quicker.”

The total cost for the alert badges and five-year contract with Central Technologies is roughly $570,000. Wallace said that grant money from the state will cover the first-year costs, and the Board of Education will handle the remaining amount.

“The first year and installation cost is going to be paid for that,” Wallace said. “Then the board committed to paying for that for years two through five.”

The buttons will be geotagged to only be used on school property. Wallace explained that it’s expected to be an easier and more effective tool for teachers and staff. He said that it’s going to allow teachers to spend more time teaching.

“We want teachers to have to think about teaching students every single day,” Wallace said.

Johnson City Commission approval is still needed for this process to move forward. If approved, the process to implement these buttons would begin immediately.