Nassau County schools getting panic alarms

Tim Fleischer reports on the new safety features
October 22, 2013 2:44:56 PM PDT
Authorities on Long Island say all schools in Nassau County will receive panic alarms.

The county-funded program will provide each school with five wireless panic alarms.

County Executive Edward P. Mangano says the devices will be connected directly to the police department.

Mangano was at Carle Place High School Tuesday morning to announce the plans.

The program is available to all school districts in the county, but it is voluntary. In Carle Place, they are looking favorably at what appears to be a quicker alert system.

The safety of students as they go about their school day is primary, school officials will tell you.

And if, heaven forbid, an unexpected emergency strikes, there now is a way to summon police that much faster, county officials claim, with the so-called panic button.

"This panic alarm, with a two-way communicator, also will provide GPS coordinates," said Mangano.

To the Nassau County police, who would then respond to such an emergency with the need to know critical information about the situation and the potential danger to faculty and students.

"Speed and precise location, those two pieces are particularly interesting to me," said Superintendent of Schools David Flatley.

Not all the time, school officials point out, are you able to hear from the people at risk.

"You may be in a situation where you cannot communicate, verbally, so being able to have a GPS device that locates your position is a critical part of this," said Flatley.

The devices, four of which would go to each school, with the county picking up the $150 cost, are seen as an enhancement to safety.

"It will be a system that runs parallel to the 911 system, that will receive priority," said First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.

Just who will be given the four buttons in the Carle Place Middle and High School, for instance, will likely be chosen by Principal Thomas DePaola.

"Possibly the assistant principals, if the school has a dean of students who takes care of discipline, and also secretaries in the main office," said DePaola.

Students too, hearing of yet another shooting in which a teacher and a student were killed just Monday in Reno, Nevada, understand the need for the alarms.

"It could happen to anybody at anytime," said student Alec Visslailli. "So this is very good because this will contact 911 faster."