St John-Hudson school implements Safe Defend system: ‘We need to learn how to respond to a threat’

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Books, pencils and scissors are just some of the tools Brad Emery has in his classroom to give his third-grade students a good education. 

“I just really enjoy being with the kids, and the chance to see them learn and make an impact on their life,” Emery said. 

But just behind his desk, he said he has another tool, one that keeps him and his students safe. 

This year St. John-Hudson schools implemented the Safe Defend System. 

It’s a small safe located in every classroom and around the school. 

In the event of an active shooter, staff member’s can swipe their finger over the safe to activate an immediate notification to all school staff, law enforcement and county dispatch. 

“It sends out a warning, and an alarm to everyone in the school,” Emery said. “It lets you know where the threat is, so you can get away from it.” 

The safe also equips staff with tools to help mitigate a threat or provide first-aid.

“Mace and a paton are in there as well to make sure that your kids are safe,” he said. 

What makes this system different than the others?

Superintendent Josh Meyer said it gives the staff a way to instantly communicate the exact location of a possible threat. 

“So, if there was a threat on the other end of the building, maybe if they know I’m on the other side of the building it’s time to run,” Meyer said. “Or if the threat is right next door to my room, maybe I ought to get the tools and be ready to fight.”

Meyer said new system compliments the school’s previous safety protocols and will better benefit the entire community.

“Between controlling entries, our lockdown procedures and our video surveillance, all those things go to help stop the intruder or stop the bad guy from getting in,” Meyer said, “But what do we do in case there is a bad guy in the building?” 

The system cost $55,000 to install to the entire campus, but Meyer said it’s an investment they hope they waste. 

“Regardless of whether you’re in a big school district or a small rural area, we need to learn how to respond to a threat,” he said. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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