MILFORD, Conn. — A school in Milford is the first in the state to use new technology to make sure students and staff are safe in an emergency.
With one push of a button, officers can respond more quickly and everyone in the building will silently know what’s going on.
"It’s something we have that we pay for that we hope will never have to use," said Deacon Dominic Corraro, the Principal of Saint Mary School in Milford.
SaferWatch is the app that's on every staff member's phone; it serves as a silent panic button in case of an emergency.
"Instead of someone having to run down the hallway to press a panic button they can do it from a safe location from their phone," said PFC Marilisa Anania with the Milford Police Department.
The app has buttons for a fire, a medical emergency, or a school shooter.
By pressing it for three seconds, instantly, Milford police are directly notified, without using multiple dispatch centers, and officers are ready to respond.
"It adds a layer of security that we didn’t have before but also links directly to the dispatch center. There’s no alarm company, it just goes directly to them, that was another reason, it’s faster and faster response time," said Corraro.
Not only does it cut down on response time, but it is even more accurate than a regular 911 call.
"On a normal 911 call, we know where it's coming from, but since it's an app we can tell where in the building it's coming from," said Anania.
If the silent alarm is activated, every staff member will get a notification there’s an emergency.
The Milford Police Department has access to the school’s cameras, so they can instantly monitor the inside and outside of the school.
"We want kids and families to feel comfortable going to school everyday knowing they're safe at school and they can go home at the end of the day," said Anania.
For Principal Corraro, it’s an added layer of protection at everyone’s fingertips inside the building.
"It was tested one time and works very, very well. We want to have everything we can possibly in place to keep our students safe," said Corraro.
Saint Mary is the first school in the state to use the app.
It’s adding peace of mind and an effective emergency plan in Milford and across the country, is helping to stop school shootings.
"We’ve stopped to prevent 12 planned school shootings from our company's inception," said Geno Roefaro, CEO of SaferWatch. "It's already helped to prevent real-life instances from happening."
Milford police are encouraging other police departments and schools across the state to work together to come up with the best safety precautions in case of an emergency.
Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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