Ribbon cut on Indiana high school security system, called ‘Safest school in America’

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By Kendall Downing

SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. (Sept. 11, 2014)-- A central Indiana school district just cut the ribbon on a new high school security system. But this is not your ordinary alarm system. The goal is to protect students from a shooter in the building.

It's billed as the "Best practice solution for school safety" by the Indiana Sheriff's Association. Local law enforcement now have eyes and ears all over the high school, now being called the safest school in America.

FOX 59's Aishah Hasnie first told you about the upgrades Monday in an exclusive tour of the school building, in a story that got national attention.

"I'm very comfortable in knowing that the safety is high priority here," said Jessica Schlabach, a parent of a high school freshman.

At a large ceremony Thursday evening, school officials and the Indiana Sheriff's Association first paid tribute to victims of school shootings.

Then they cut the ribbon on what's touted as a revolutionary security system.

"It provides a sense of security that actually works. It's not something that's just a false sense of security. It works. It gives them what they need," said Mike Kersey, Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff and SWAT team leader.

Teachers wear key fobs and press them in case of an emergency. Alerts go directly to law enforcement. Cameras and sensors throughout the building allow police to track a shooter, and hardened doors offer more protection from bullets.

"There's business models that are going to make it very feasible," said Kersey.

A company called Net Talon paid for a lot of the upgrades. The district also used grant money. Overall cost models for the project are still being developed.

Thursday, Southwestern Consolidated Schools Superintendent Dr. Paula Maurer urged the crowd to contact lawmakers and insist systems like this show up in all our schools.

"That's really kind of up to the legislators. We hope they get on board with us in a united front. That's what we need," said Kersey.

As a general rule, upgrades of this type can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but grant money can be used to pay for them.

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