Panic Button System graphic

OBERLIN — All Allen Parish schools could soon have access to a panic button system to enhance school safety and alert officials to an emergency situation.

School Superintendent Kent Reed told board members Monday that school officials have been discussing implementing the Rave panic button during meetings with the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies.

Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, Transportation and Special Services Kenney Courville said the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana State Police are “100 percent” behind the project. The state is providing funding for the implementation for the next two years.

“The bottom line is this — we don’t ever want to think about a tragedy in our schools or to have to use these things, but by God if we do, we want to be prepared,” Courville said.

The Rave panic button is a phone application that allows users to connect with 911 and other first responders while alerting school staff and oncampus security personnel of an emergency situation including active shooters, fires, medical emergencies and other 911-related incidents, Courville said.

Only school officials will have access to the app, which will only work on school campuses, he said.

The School Board is working with the Sheriff’s Office to geofence school campuses so that when the button is activated it will let emergency responders know what part of the campus or building the emergency is located, he said.

“It will also let the rest of the faculty know what part the danger is in,” Courville said. “They will have the opportunity to get away from the danger.”

Information about the campus, including buildings, floor plans and landlines, are entered into the alert system along with employee names and contact information, he said.

School board member Gregory Monceaux said he supports the use of the panic button system.

“It’s needed,” he said. “The more prepared you are the better we are.”

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