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Schools installing school shooting alarms

Fire alarms are common in schools throughout Kentucky, but in Franklin County, officials are looking to install similar alarms for school shootings.

Last night, the Franklin County School Board voted to install "active shooter switches" inside all county schools.

"You'll have instant response at that one switch. You won't rely on someone to make a phone call. You're not relying on somebody to try to articulate over the radio. A lot of times, radios and cell phones don't get out inside the school system like they should," said Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy Montey Chappell.

Chappell said the switch would override any signal from a fire alarm so emergency responders would be safe.

"If we have an active shooter and the fire department shows up to respond, those are our EMTs, our paramedics, emergency personnel, they would be caught in the line of fire," said Chappell.

They say the idea took shape after a student brought a pellet gun to nearby Bondurant Middle School earlier this year. Chappell said eventually he'd like to see the video cameras inside the schools connected to emergency dispatchers so they can get a better picture of the situation inside. He also said text messages would automatically go out to all parents and school workers so that inaccurate information would be less likely to spread.

"Parents can get the correct information as it happens and just not bits and pieces that they might be able to get from children inside the schools," said Chappell.

Chappell said the system should cost between $2,500 and $2,800. School board officials say the switches should be installed before next school year.

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