ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Banks have them, but what if teachers also had a panic button they could hit to alert police about a serious threat such as a gunman?
One Albuquerque school is considering it, but the Albuquerque Police Department will have to get on board, too.
Thinking about the unthinkable--a shooting on campus--is part of the job for school administrators.
And a direct line to nearby police might make a lot of sense for the school as long as it makes sense for police.
Last December, as the horrifying pictures from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut found their way onto televisions across the country, Southwest Learning Center science teacher Chris Lutz had a chilling thought:
"I couldn't think of any way to save the kids first, or to save myself second," Lutz said. "I didn't have a plan. The only thing I could think to tell a child was to hide."
At the Northeast Heights charter campus Scott Glasrud was thinking similar thoughts. The school isn't formally attached to the Albuquerque Public Schools and the district's police force.
Still, Glasrud says, he made a call.
"They have been incredible help," Glasrud said. "I think that when it comes to school safety and school security, everybody has the same goal in mind, and that is to keep the kids safe and secure."
Then he brought in security experts to train staff.
"Where do you take the students to? Glasrud continued. "How do you communicate with law enforcement personnel? How do you get them here quicker?"
Potentially, he has an answer to the last question.
"We're working with a group currently that would allow access to the five closest police cars," Glasrud said.
It's called COPsync911, and it enables a teacher to hit what amounts to a panic button on their desktop computer.
It opens a chat room with nearby police and even downloads a floor plan to the school for first responders.
But for the system to work as planned, police would have to subscribe, too.
APD hasn't examined the system, and Glasrud said he'll seek advice from police before signing up.
"Let 'em know what our needs are and hear from them what their concerns are, because I think that's big," he said.
But if makes sense for police, help could be just a click away.
The system costs about $1,200 a year for the school to subscribe. It would cost the city or county $120 a year, for each officer it signs up.
APS has not looked at this particular technology, which comes from a Texas company.
The district has its own police force and but says it's always looking at ways to improve school security.
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