Pulaski schools protecting students with SchoolGuard app
WINAMAC, Ind. - With the tap of an app, Eastern Pulaski Community Schools Corporation is using technology to try to keep students safe in the event of an active shooter situation.
"You just never know, so you have to make sure you have your plans the best you possibly can," Winamac Community Middle School Principal Ryan Dickinson.
About two years ago, Eastern Pulaski Community Schools added an extra safeguard...called SchoolGuard.
"Basically, it's just a safeguard app, so if you push the button, and there's an emergency for a reported armed intruder, you can simply push that button and it will alert 911 and also anybody that has the SchoolGuard app," said Principal Dickinson.
"If they're in the geofence area, it'll send out an alert to any policeman where it's a trooper, county officer, local officer within a ...20 to 25 mile radius. It actually sounds like a siren when it goes off," said Detective Sergeant Chris Schramm, Resource Officer for Eastern Pulaski Schools.
"All that is usually done before the dispatcher says, '911 what's your emergency?'" saiad Captain Tim Guy, sales rep for Guard911 and an Indiana policeman.
The 55,000 officers who now have it on their phones, one of whom is the school resource officer here at Winamac, get alerts for any incident across the country, so Parkland.
Detective Schramm said that day, about 45 minutes before word reached the media, he received an alert from the app, saying, "Shooting. Multiple victims. Parkland School Corporation."
"I think the company has almost doubled since then...just within the last month," said Captain Guy.
In Michiana, right now, Pulaski is the only county that has the app live.
But, Officer Guy with Guard911 says Kosciusko, LaGrange, and Starke counties are alos looking to download it.
"We've educated the teachers and administrators a little bit more than they had in the past, so I feel good about it. We're heading in the right direction, and we can only do better from here," said Detective Schramm.
"I think we all got into education, because we wanted to teach, but we also care for students, so we're going to protect students in any way that we can, and we understand that's not the role we like, but it's the role we have, and we'll do our best," said Principal Dickinson.
Other counties in Indiana that are currently using the app include Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter.
Jackson, Knox, and Warren counties are now looking at downloading it.
For more information on the app, click here.
For anyone interested in using the app, you can contact Officer Tim Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org.