City Council recognizes local security system businessman for helping community schools
by Heather Tomlinson Commonwealth Journal
City officials officially recognized a local businessman who earlier this month decided to donate panic alarm systems to every school in the county in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn. shoot-ings.
“He (Modern Systems, Inc. owner David Morris) has put a lot of his own money out to try to protect our kids and our grandkids and our schools,” said Somerset City Councilor Jim Mitchell during the Monday, Jan. 14 city council meeting.
Morris made the decision after attending the “Love to Sandy Hook” community vigil at The Center for Rural Development held in memory of the victims of the national tragedy which took place on Dec. 14.
According to auth-orities, Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School that day and killed 26 people — 20 of them young students — before turning his weapon on himself. The incident instantly made headlines and media broadcasts around the country, even the world, and shocked many who worried that something similar could happen elsewhere.
“I realized I couldn’t do everything, but I could help protect my community,” Morris told the Commonwealth Journal in early January.
Morris set out to install panic alarms, or duress alarm, systems at no cost to the county’s schools.
That includes Science Hill Independent School and Somerset Christian School as well as schools in the Somerset and Pulaski County districts.
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.
Morris, a native of Pulaski County and a Somerset High School alum, founded Modern Systems as a teenager in 1979. He’s well-known throughout the community — including to city councilors.
Mitchell, who knows Morris personally and who is also a customer of his, said he “deserves to be recognized” for taking “care of our schools.”
The city council unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Morris for his efforts.
“Thanks to him (Morris) personally for his contribution to our community,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girder.