CMS Cutting Ties with “Crisis Alert System” Vendor citing “Persistent Problems”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – CMS will cut ties with the vendor behind the district’s “Crisis Alert System.”

Superintendent Earnest Winston telling school board members on Tuesday night, the company is “unable to deliver what was promised.”

“We did not get, and will not get what we were promised, and what we have paid for,” Winston told the board.

Winston cited “persistent problems” with the system developed by Atlanta-based Centegix.

“We gave the company a month to resolve these issues. The month ended yesterday, and we still do not have a system that is reliable and delivers what was promised,” Winston said.

Last year, the district payed Centegix more than a million dollars to install the system in high schools, only to later admit it wasn’t working.

The system was supposed to allow employees to trigger an alarm by pressing a button on a card.

Warning lights in each classroom were supposed to flash a different color depending on the level of emergency.

Now Winston says the district will not pay another $600,000 owed to Centegix and will try to get the other money back.

“We’re open to advanced technology to protect our students, but we don’t want to be a testing ground for a vendor’s product,” he told the board.

The Superintendent’s announcement came only a few hours after Centegix sent out a news release claiming testing in CMS was successful.

After Tuesday night’s meeting, Winston wouldn’t say if the district plans legal action against the company.

He said the “Crisis Alert System,” was only one part of the district’s security plan.

“I’ve been very consistent, that this Centegix system was to augment the very comprehensive safety system that we already have in place,” Winston said.