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Greenfield schools renew agreement for panic button app

"It's another tool in the tool belt. It's been nice to have that. Like I said, it provides a little bit of peace of mind," said a high school principal.

GREENFIELD, Ind. — As students head back to the classrooms, Hancock County schools are beginning the year with safety in mind.  

"We try to take that fear away as much as we can, so they can focus on the kids," said Greenfield-Central High School Principal Jason Cary.

Laken Rosing, an English teacher at the high school, said a lot has changed since she became an educator a decade ago.

"There were a lot of different things going through my mind, like how I would decorate my classroom, or how would I reward my students or grading. This is not what goes through your mind," said Rosing.

Now the decisions she's forced to consider are a lot more serious.

"I have had students ask me, 'Mrs. Rosing, would you be willing to die for us?' I don't know how you respond to that. Of course I say yes, but in your head, you're processing all these other things. I have children, I have a husband, I have a family," said Rosing. 

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For the past five years, Hancock County schools have relied on the Rave Mobile Safety Panic Button app, along with other safety protocols. They recently secured an extension for the app helping keep them safe for another five years.  

Credit: WTHR

"It's another tool in the tool belt. It's been nice to have that. Like I said, it provides a little bit of peace of mind," said Cary.

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When a user presses a button on the app, it uses geofencing technology to dispatch first responders - in under a minute - to the exact location of the user.

"Everything that's happened in the past year, especially over the past summer, we've seen how crucial that time is. With a Rave Panic Button like this, we are getting officers, medics, firemen to the kids and faculty quicker," said Hancock County 911 spokesperson Greg Duda.

Rosing said the app is a reminder of the reality of the threat schools face, but she is pleased her school district is taking safety seriously.

"They're not just hoping it never happens. They are giving us the resources that we would need to eliminate any threat," said Rosing. 

Indianapolis Public Schools, the state's largest school district, shared a list of safety protocols they have implemented in their schools.  

  • IPS officers are assigned on-site in middle and high schools Monday through Friday to respond as needed.
  • Patrol officers are available to respond to the elementary schools as needed.
  • Random metal detections are conducted daily by IPS Officers throughout the district.
  • At each school, doors remain locked and visitors must be buzzed in by the main office who can see and talk to visitors prior to buzzing them in.
  • All schools have security film installed.
  • Heavy duty locks are installed at all IPS buildings.
  • All schools have safety bollards installed at entrances.
  • Security cameras have been updated.
  • All schools have new radios that have the direct call button to IPS police.
  • IPS has partnered with IMPD on the ShotSpotter system which will identify shoots fired near IPS schools.
  • IPSPD and IMPD share concurrent jurisdiction over IPS properties and will work together in the event of an active threat.
  • IPS conducts three “man-made” drills per school year. The first man-made drill is an “armed intruder” drill. This drill is typically performed as a lockdown drill.
  • Each school has a safety plan (emergency preparedness plan) in place. This plan is reviewed at the beginning of each school year and submitted to the central office. IPS then certifies to the IDOE that each plan has been reviewed and updated as needed within 60 days of the start of school.

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