Delavan-Darien School District invests in new security system
DELAVAN—The Wikipedia “List of school shootings in the United States” is a grim reminder that it can happen anywhere.
In 2013, there were 23 shootings on school campuses, ranging from a middle school in Nevada—two dead—to a college in Orlando, Fla., where the shooter killed himself, leaving behind plans for a massacre. Often, the number of injuries and fatalities are linked with the time it takes police to respond to the scene.
Officials in the Delavan-Darien School District agreed to invest more than $42,400 in a security system designed to cut that response time.
At a school board meeting earlier in December, Thomas Hausner of Thomas Hausner & Associates introduced the system.
Called the WAVE Plus Instant Notification System, the system consists of discrete alarm buttons that will be placed throughout the district's six buildings. Portable buttons also will be available for staff to carry throughout the building.
When the button is pressed, police are immediately notifies on their radios of an emergency at the building in question.
Although the alarm doesn't give specific details about the incident, police can be on their way to a school before the 911 call even comes in, Hausner said.
The buttons will only be used during serious situations, such as an active shooter or someone suspicious trying to get into the building.
The alerts also are connected to portable radios carried by school administrators, and can be set to send emails to district personnel, Hausner said.
Other alarm systems usually alert an out-of-state call center. The call center then contacts the 911 dispatcher in the area the call is located.
Even those few minutes can make a difference, Hausner said.
Hausner, who previously worked for the Walworth County Sheriff's Office, said that an earlier model of the WAVE system was used at the Walworth County Courthouse.
The Delavan-Darien School District will become the first K-12 district in Wisconsin to install the system, according to a news release from the school district.
District Superintendent Robert Crist said he would look into the possibilities of extending the system's coverage to local parochial schools and the Wisconsin School for the Deaf.
Hausner didn't seem to think that it would be a problem to connect the system with Our Redeemer Lutheran School, which is less than a block from district's middle school and high school.