ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Police say most school shootings are over before the cops arrive. A former Illinois State Trooper wants to change that with a smart phone app.
Colonel Mike Snyders said, "The bottom line is, at any given moment, most police officers are on an off-duty capacity and many of the officers that are on duty may be doing detective work."
Snyders is talking about officers who could help stop a shooter, but might not have a way to know about an emergency. He helped design a smart phone app, called School Guard, that could get more police officers to a school shooting quicker.
Snyders said, "A minute can equate to 6 or 7 children`s lives, so for every 60 seconds that we reduce the response times we can save 6 or 7 lives or more."
School guard taps into a larger network of police officers, some who might be nearby but off duty or someone on duty without a police radio (like a Federal Agent). Officers across the Country are signing up so they`ll know if they`re near a school shooter.
Snyders explained, "It hits the smart phones of every police officer within the radius a certain geo-fence area of that report."
A school would have to sign up for School Guard. Teachers would put the app on their smart phones, allowing them to hit an emergency activation button. That would call 911, alert surrounding officers and give every other teacher a gps location of the shooter. Then if a teacher on one end of the school sees the incident is on the other end, they can move their kids away.
Snyders said, "Urgency is the key here. Seconds save lives."
Snyders addressed possible complications from having non-uniformed officers showing up. He explained, "There are critical incidents that happen around the Countryand they are mass chaos in the early stages of the event. There are protocols that the uniformed officers use and the non uniformed officers use. But in some of these situations where you`re talking about bullets flying on school property - all hands on deck. It`s critical that the police get on scene, respond together and use their training."
Schools would be fined for a false alarm. A teacher must double punch the emergency alertand it only works near the school property. School Guard also automatically calls 911.