ALBANY, Ore.– In the event of an emergency, time is the most critical factor. Now, a high-tech security system designed to keep keep children safer could be coming to schools in Linn County. It couldn’t have come at a better time, especially after the foiled bomb threat at West Albany High School.
It’s a cutting edge security system that law enforcement agencies in Albany say sounds too good to be true. But it’s a reality. With a push of a panic button, officers can immediately have their eyes on the situation.
“It automatically activates a camera, microphone and speaker in the classroom,” said Detective Micah Smith with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.
This allows officers to communicate with teachers, staff and students through the intercom. The button also locks doors through a pressurized magnet system and activates a light to tell first responders where the threat is coming from.
Fortunately, West Albany High School averted an alleged bomb attack thanks to a student tip, but what if that student wasn’t able to get in contact with police? That won’t be a problem with this system, because it comes with a smartphone app.
“Students can install and tie themselves to the school that they go to and be able to report things,” added Smith.
The technology was created in Los Angeles and is now in place at a school in Shady Cove, just north of Medford. But it could make it’s way to Albany.
“None are as robust as this, none answer as many as the problems that law enforcement has faced, none offers the early intervention, warnings and reporting systems with students that are connected with their smart phones than this system does,” said Smith.
The central brain unit of the system is $40,000 and the equipment is about $2,000 per classroom. Law enforcement agencies will meet with school superintendents to discuss installing them in their classrooms.