Hancock County to roll out “Panic Button” app for schools, county buildings

HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. - Active shooter situations have become all too common at schools across the country. Now, officials in Hancock County are rolling out a new way to connect schools with first responders in case of a threat.

On Tuesday, county commissioners officially signed off on the Panic Button app by Rave Mobile to be used in county schools and government buildings.

The app can contact 911, reach out to on and off-duty law enforcement and notifies people in the building that there’s an emergency with a push of a button.

It even helps map out the location of where that threat is located.

“We see this as just another layer of safety for our children and our schools, another layer of advanced warning for law enforcement to be aware to something,” Chief of Greenfield Police Department Jeff Rasch said.

While the active shooter button is the main feature, the app can also connect schools with police, fire and medical services in case of other emergencies. Schools can also customize the app to notify other school employees for when their help is needed for any urgent situation.

The app also works alongside the county’s Smart 911 system, which helps supply first responders with crucial pieces of information that can help give them the upper hand.

“We want to continue to be proactive in what we do here and make sure we have things in place before they happen,” County 911 director John Jokantas said.

According to Jokantas, the speed at which the app can notify authorities of a threat can cut down on the time it takes them to respond, which ultimately can help save lives.

“Every fifteen seconds that an active shooter is allowed to continue they can claim another victim.  So, if we speed that process up of response and we can neutralize that threat immediately we’re that much better off,” he said.

County commissioners signed off on a five year, $11,000 per year contract with Rave mobile. The system will be paid for initially through the county’s 911 budget with “other funding” sources being sought out once the contract is up.

Jokantas says rollout and training for the system will begin immediately.

Once up and running the system will connect more than thirty buildings/campuses and 1600 people.

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