Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 7, 2013

Local man takes action to guard local schools


Somerset —

The “panic button” will be but in the front office of every school, which the area where “usually a threat is detected,” said Morris. The button can be placed in different locations throughout the office, so that it’s more easily accessible by those in a particular area.
Once the button is pressed, it sounds a silent alarm, with a signal that is transmitted to a Modern Systems monitoring station. They will immediately notify 911, which will dispatch appropriate personnel. No call from the school to 911 is necessary.
“The reason why we don’t want them to call back to explain is that we want to get the first responders rolling and police responding as quickly as possible,” said Morris. “There will be training required and procedures in place (to handle a situation) if they feel they’ve accidentally pressed the button.”
Morris also said there are a number of scenarios in which pressing the duress button would be a good idea. “It isn’t in place just for (a time when) they see someone getting out of the car with a weapon,” he noted. “If they sense a threat of any kind where they would call 91, I would encourage them to press the button. It could be something like a fight breaking it. It could be any threat.”
Morris hopes to start installations within the next 30 days, and expects the process to take two to three weeks to complete.
It won’t be cheap. Morris noted that he made the decision in order to do something to help without stopping to contemplate the cost it would mean to his business to do this for the schools free of charge. He estimated that the systems themselves and the service for the company’s monitoring system would represent “tens of thousands of dollars” over the next three years.

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