The Drift Net Founders
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
Published on December 8, 2021
“All right. So here's the plan. I'm gonna go take Uber in the afternoon before 2:40. From there I'll go into the -- onto school campus, walk up the stairs, unload my bags and get my AR and shoot people down at the main -- what is it? -- the main courtyard, wait, and people will die.”
On February 14, 2018, these words recorded on the cellphone of then 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz would come into being. What would happen on that day at Stonemason Douglas High would once again disrupt the suspense between tranquility and tragedy that we Americans are held, becoming just as synonymous with “school shootings” as Columbine, Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech. It would be incorrect to say that Cruz’s actions on that day were surprising; there were 23 calls made to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office regarding Cruz’s concerning, often violent, behavior in the decade leading up to the attack. Cruz himself would try to seek help for his violent urges through a school specialist two years prior. There was a well-established record of his violent domestic life and expulsion-worthy activity at school, but we still let ourselves believe we can’t foresee these things. We can only look back - in grief over the loss of life, in frustration over the lack of preparedness, at the helplessness of the victims. When remembering Parkland, “looking back” had never been more avant-garde; the shooting was the first of its kind to be recorded on the victim’s mobile phones.
Unlike those of us who remember Columbine or the Virginia Tech shootings, the incident being recorded at Stonemason Douglas had a much more visceral response. The time had come where we were able to participate in the frenzy. Among those who saw these videos live were siblings Brigitte and Arron Coles, who weren’t able to detach themselves from the tragedies that took place on that day, as many people were. The Coles found this broadcasting of the tragedies at Parkland was more than just an invitation to join in the national post-event delirium, they saw this as a call to action.
It became obvious that the reasons surrounding the vulnerability of schools nationwide weren’t only based on the mental health of at-risk students, it was in the security tech market itself. What was being offered in the market just wasn’t effective enough to account for the multitude of variables that perpetuate violence at school. The products available would only address one or two problems, but still leave the schools vulnerable to other hazards. There wasn’t a holistic, fully comprehensive solution that not only was complete, but had the ability to adapt with a school community. Security tech companies were banking off the federal grants that would inevitably roll out after a national tragedy, often using the situation as an opportunity to produce inferior products and then sell them to desperate schools. The Coles siblings also saw that schools needed more than just good tech, they needed to fundamentally change how they facilitated their emergency preparedness and response. Not only was there no national standard for how a school prepares and responds to an emergency, but there was a lack of resources for schools who wanted a more proactive approach. The school children of this country were being held hostage between an endless stream of violent perpetrators and the apathy of those who were most equipped to protect them.
In February 2018, the same month as the tragedy at Stonemason Douglas High, Aaron and Brigitte founded Drift Net Securities. In response to the nation’s need for better school security, the Coles debuted their flagship product the KnowWhere Campus Safety System - an innovation that promises to address the issues through autonomous threat detection, occupancy mapping and crisis response. As Drift Net grew, it would attract over 80 employees, all of whom shared the same vision for effective campus security and a less fearful environment for students to flourish. Under the leadership of the Coles siblings, Drift Net would go on to develop a comprehensive ecosystem of safety and emergency planning tools called the KnowMore Safety and Security Management, of which would solidify Drift Net as the most far-reaching campus security tech company on the market.
Currently, we at Drift Net Securities are working tirelessly to continually hone the abilities of our products; whether it’s threat detection, Emergency Operations Planning or building relationships with school districts across the country, we won’t settle until our vision is realized. Make sure to follow our weekly blog to stay updated on what’s going on at Drift Net, as well as learn more about the efforts we are undertaking to further our philosophy that everyone has the right to safety and protection at school.