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District Attorney and County Council announce Panic Alarms for Schools

Schools across Delaware County will soon be getting panic buttons that will directly and immediately alert law enforcement to a dangerous intruder or potential threat to the students and staff. In the aftermath of the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Delaware County Council and the District Attorney’s office sought funding to install panic/emergency buttons in every school in the county, including public, private, parochial and accredited kindergarten programs.

County Council secured a $188,600 grant from the Pennsylvania Southeast Regional Task Force to purchase alarms for 230 schools with the goal of having them installed for the upcoming school year. The program is called the Delaware County Panic Alarm School System (DelPASS.)

County Council and District Attorney Jack Whelan briefed the county school superintendents on DelPASS at a meeting Friday, June 21, at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit in Morton. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association (PEMA) is expected to award the contract within the week with installation work to follow. The panic buttons will be installed in public and non-public K-12 school buildings. When installation of the panic buttons is complete, this will be one more tool in the school safety tool box. DA Whelan said his office continually works with school personnel, law enforcement and emergency responders to enhance school safety. In April, the Safe Schools Summit focused on responding to an active shooter in the school.