Smartphone “Panic Button” Could Cut School-Crisis Response Times

A state lawmaker is touting a high-tech innovation that could keep Washington schools, and students, safer in a crisis.  Dan Frizzell has more.

“If we can’t keep our children safe, nothing else we do in this world is going to matter.  This is vital to make sure that we are responsible, we’re doing everything we can to keep them safe in their schools.”

Representative John Lovick doesn’t mince words.  He’s a father and a grandfather, the former Snohomish County Sheriff, and he put in 30 years as a Washington State Patrol officer.  He’s pushing this year for the statewide adoption of the kind of panic button that’s already used in most Everett schools.  It’s a free smartphone app for teachers and administrators that notifies first responders, parents, and other faculty immediately, and even pinpoints the location of the emergency within a few yards.

“This makes sure we’ve checked all of the boxes.  The panic button does what we want to have done.  You don’t have to stand there and make all these phone calls, you don’t have to stand there and dial 9-1-1.  You press one button and all of the people who need to be notified are notified.  It’s probably one of the best programs we have in the state and I’m just excited about it.  I hope we can make this particular piece of legislation become law.”

Lovick, a Mill Creek Democrat, is working to have funding for his panic-button legislation included in the state budget before the Legislature adjourns on April 23. In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.