Case Study

Rock Hill School
District High Schools

Project Overview:

In schools across the country, School Resource Officers (SRO’s) are employed to help keep students safe. These officers need clear, quick lines of communication in order to pass information between different areas of the building. At Rock Hill School District schools, SRO’s use handheld radios to get in contact with each other while on the job. The reliability of these radios is vital to the safety of the students.

school resource officer with handheld radio
high school hallway

Unique Problems:

In three Rock Hill School District high schools, SRO’s noticed that many areas of the buildings had poor radio signal. If they wanted to contact other officers or school personnel, they would need to relocate to an area they knew provided reliable reception. In an emergency scenario, this problem could have had serious consequences, so they quickly requested that it be resolved.


Harris Communications fixed this radio reception issue by installing a Bi-Directional Radio System at each of the three high schools in question. This system ensured that SRO’s and other school personnel would be able to quickly and effectively communicate using their hand-held radios. Because these installations took place at high schools during the school year, our team was conscious of student safety during the installation. They also made sure to move equipment and personnel aside during student break periods.

wireless handheld radio in hand


Now that the Bi-Directional Radio Systems have been installed in each of these three schools, SRO’s are able to use their handheld radios without having to relocate or rely on their vehicle. This means that students, faculty, and staff can all feel more safe and secure. The SRO’s, who knew exactly where signals used to be poor, expressed their satisfaction and, in the month after project completion, were unable to find any areas from which they were unable to communicate.

Because this project took place at three separate locations and required a level of access that most projects do not, it had the potential to be very complicated. However, Rock Hill School District and everyone we worked with on this project helped it move smoothly every step of the way. Projects that assist in public safety are some of our favorite to take on.

Client Comments:

As of this date the installation is finished and in operation for more than a month. Compared to York County Public Service communications levels before the installation, the School Resource Officers are now able to use their hand held radios without having to relocate or rely on their vehicle. The day to day users, these SRO’s, knew exactly where signals used to be poor, they expressed their satisfaction and have yet to find any “dark” spots where they would expect to communicate.

Here are some important highlights:

    • The installation went smoothly, finished on time, and with robust equipment installed.
    • The Harris management team, as they said they would, met with the school principals and support personnel working out each school’s installation plan. This ended up necessary since something is always happening at a high school.
    • The work areas were kept safe, uncluttered, and cleaned up every night.
    • Due to the nature of the work, the installation technicians had to go in all areas; they were given a high level of authority with the passes they were issued. They did not abuse any of this authority.
    • The commissioning reports and the initial review reports were submitted as promised. The reports, though voluminous, were clear showing where the tasks had to be.
JM Surratt, PE
President, IAPL, Inc.
Electrical Engineering

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