Officials: Panic Buttons In 230 Delco Schools Could Save Lives - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Panic Buttons In 230 Delco Schools Could Save Lives, Officials Say

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MORTON, Pa. -

It's the button school administrators hope they never have to push.

But six months after gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Conn., officials in Delaware County believe the new panic buttons could be the difference between life and death.

"This button will save minutes, save seconds and even seconds will save lives," said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.

County officials will use a $188,000 grant to put the panic buttons in up to 230 schools, public, private and parochial, by this fall. The idea behind the panic button is to get police to a school as quickly as possible.

"This button is only be pushed in a dire situation when there's an armed intruder in the school presenting with a firearm or bomb that can inflict bodily harm," Whelan said.

The button will be hooked into 9-1-1, and it comes with an audio alert system that will allow operators to hear exactly what's going on at a school.

"They can listen in to what is happening in that school and relay in real time to the police that are on their way to that school," County Councilman David White said.

"No one wants our schools to be a fortress, but we can make them as safe as possible," County Councilman Tom McGarrigle said.

Parents told FOX 29 News they believe the panic button could save their children's lives.

"I'm glad someone thought of the idea so that when something like that happens, A.S.A.P., 100 percent, someone's there in seconds," said Quincie Summers.

"It's gonna save a kid's life, one kid, two kids, whatever. I think its gonna be the best thing they could do," said Jeff Shepley, in Upper Darby.

The buttons cost about $800 a piece. Officials hope they will be installed by the first day of school this fall.

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