Two years after installing the first set of “panic buttons,” all Gwinnett County Public Schools now have emergency systems that can lock down campuses and dispatch police in a single push.
The panic buttons, located in the administrative offices, are intended for use in “life-threatening emergencies,” like active shooter situations, Channel 2 Action News reported. Once pushed, the campus is locked down, police are dispatched and 911 operators can communicate with school officials to see what’s going on in the building with cameras.
The first buttons were installed at district elementary schools in 2015. Since then, they’ve been added to middle and high schools as well. Monday, the beginning of the new school year, was the first day classes were in session when the panic buttons were available in every building.
“To know help is on the way as soon as someone pushes that button is comforting,” said Joe Barnes, a school resource officer at Peachtree Ridge High School, in an interview with Channel 2.