Daviess County school officials received a briefing on a new safety program as local officials begin the steps to get it in place. Last month, the Daviess County council and county commissioners approved a $30,000 program called School Guard that is designed to produce a quicker response to area schools in case of an active shooter. Now, the schools are expected to begin working with the company to get the program up and running.
“The company is trying to move this forward,” said Washington Police Captain Tim Guy, who had advocated for the program. “We might have it going right before the end of school this year.”
The School Guard program is a smartphone app that can also be used on tablets and computers. In the case of an active shooting event, school personnel will be able to press a single button that will instantly contact 911, alert all teachers in the school, summon all police officers within a 20-mile radius, and alert any schools within five miles of the incident.
“This will get city police, county officers, federal officers, conservation, everyone moving toward the school right away,” said Guy.
Guy met with administrators from the Washington, Washington Catholic, North Daviess, and Barr-Reeve school systems. “The company will be contacting the superintendents soon so that they can set up the geographic information system (GIS) fence,” said Guy.
That fence is a set of map coordinates where the telephone app will work.
The company will also require that each school system name a gatekeeper to decide who will get the app and will also be responsible for removing school staff if they leave the school.
“This is an awesome app,” said Washington Catholic High School Principal Karie Craney. “This will make us feel a little more secure and anything that will help to make us feel more secure is a good thing.”