Seminole schools add 'panic button'

Button will be installed in front offices

SANFORD, Fla. - Seminole County school leaders agreed to enhance security at many of the district's schools by installing panic buttons.

A security alarm contractor will place the panic buttons in the front office or reception areas of 69 schools and district buildings.

"The panic button will result in an immediate alert to police agencies in the event of an emergency, improving response time and the overall safety and security of students and employees on campus," said Michael Lawrence, Communications Officer for the district.

The district will spend $45,000 to install the panic buttons at 59 schools and 10 district offices.

"The person behind the desk can hit the panic button which alerts our central station we in turn call law enforcement," said Bruce Winner, Sonitrol Brand director.

An audio sensor also allows the security company to hear what's going on when the button is pressed

Some Seminole County schools already have panic buttons.

"This security measure was a result of the Sandy Hook incident," Lawrence told Local 6. "After that tragedy, we evaluated our security throughout the district and one of the items we determined could be utilized to strengthen school security was the addition of the panic buttons."

"It's very secure here but there could always be more precautions taken," said Kimberle McKnight, an Eastbrook Elementary School parent.

She says she feels good knowing there is now a panic button inside the front office.

"I think it's a good idea, it gives me a piece of mind when I drop my son off everyday that he's even more protected," she said.

The school board hopes to finish installing the buttons in all the schools by the first two weeks of November.

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