By Brad Segall
MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — One week before the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting in Connecticut, authorities in Delaware County, Pa. say they are nearly finished installing a silent alarm system in public and private schools across the county.
Nearly 80 percent of the schools that requested the alarm system have them, officials say, and installation is continuing at the other schools that will become part of the system.
A Homeland Security grant of nearly $200,000 is paying for the emergency buttons that, when activated in the event of a threatening person, will send an alert directly to the 911 center (see previous story).
“We believe that by doing this you will save seconds and minutes, which we’ve learned through these horrible killings are critical,” said DA Jack Whelan today. “The faster you can get there and the faster you can eliminate the threat, the better off you are.”
The system also has an audio component so dispatchers can hear what’s going on in the school and relay that information to police officers who are responding to the scene.