New technology looks to help schools be prepared for lockdown situations
It's a heart-breaking scenario that schools across the country are being forced to deal with - how to protect students during an active shooter situation.
It's every parent's worst nightmare, which is hearing there is an incident at their child's school.
Now, a new piece of technology is looking to help combat it.
"We started about four-and-a-half years ago after the Sandy Hook tragedy," Co-Founder of Blue Point Alert Systems John Shales said.
It's called the Blue Point Alert Security System and has already been installed in 20 Illinois school districts.
The company’s mission statement is as follows: “To provide an affordable Rapid Emergency Response System (RERS) that instantly notifies emergency responders and building occupants of an emergency situation, expedites a rapid response, triggers emergency management protocols and ultimately saves lives.”
"Does two things. One, it contacts police immediately and it alerts everybody in the building at the same time to take their precautions," Shales said.
So, if one of the bright blue wireless devices is activated, it will set off strobe lights and alert students, teachers and administrators to enact a lockdown.
It will also immediately contact police as well as first responders, which is something Shales said was their biggest motivator in starting the system, as not everyone may realize immediately that there is an active situation happening in their school.
Something that gives parents a wave of relief.
"Anything that can increase the safety of our students is a great asset to our school," Tiffany Bordenkircher, a parent, said.
It also gives administrators a chance to install an extra layer of security.
“It's just an added security measure that administrators and staff would feel good about. Parents would feel good about and the students would have another layer of protection. They would feel good about it as well," Little Flower Principal Dr. Bill Moredock said.
The company said if a school comes to them wanting the system but is unable to afford it, they are willing to work with them to come to a solution.
"So, we do have a couple of different options on that. One is a lease-to-own type scenario. We've got a number of school districts that have taken us up on that and then you're binded over five years. We also have what we've implemented as sort of a starter system," Shales said.
While none of these systems have been installed yet in local schools, they can also be installed in businesses as well as other public buildings.
Shales said their systems are currently used in 15 different states.