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Alyssa's Law: Strengthening Emergency Response in Pennsylvania Schools

Implementing Alyssa's Law in Pennsylvania would significantly enhance the safety and security of students and staff. Know what to expect.
Jul 9, 2024

Alyssa's Law, named in memory of Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old student who tragically lost her life in the 2018 Parkland school shooting, aims to enhance school safety by mandating the implementation of silent panic alarms that directly link to law enforcement. Alyssa’s Law has already been enacted in six other states, including New York and New Jersey, and is now working its way through the Pennsylvania Legislature.

The rationale behind Alyssa’s Law is that Time Equals Life. When a life-threatening emergency occurs on a school campus, law enforcement response time literally saves lives. Alyssa’s Act, which has already passed through Congress, calls for the installation of silent panic alarms that are directly linked to law enforcement, so in case of any emergency they will get on the scene as quickly as possible, take down a threat and triage any victims.

Current State of Alyssa's Law in Pennsylvania

On May 13, 2024, a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state senators introduced Alyssa’s Law to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. You can read their statements here. The bill requires all public schools to be equipped with silent panic alarms that directly notify law enforcement in the event of a school-based emergency. The bill also mandates regular training and drills to ensure staff and students are familiar with the panic button systems, minimizing panic and confusion during actual emergencies and ensuring a coordinated response.

Current School Safety Measures and Their Limitations

Schools typically employ a range of safety measures, including security cameras, controlled access points, school resource officers, and lockdown drills. These measures, while crucial, have limitations. Security cameras provide surveillance but not immediate assistance. Controlled access points restrict entry but are ineffective if an intruder is already inside. School resource officers can't be everywhere at once, and lockdown drills do not involve law enforcement in real-time emergencies.

Alyssa's Law Requirements:

Alyssa's Law addresses these gaps by requiring the installation of silent panic alarm systems in schools. These systems can be activated via a mobile app, desktop application, or strategically placed physical buttons, providing immediate notification to law enforcement. The integration of panic button systems with other security technologies, such as video surveillance and communication systems, enhances real-time information sharing with first responders, aiding efficient decision-making during critical situations.

Compliance and Impact on Pennsylvania Schools

Compliance with Alyssa's Law would require Pennsylvania schools to allocate resources for the installation and maintenance of panic button systems. State and federal funding may be available to support these efforts, alleviating the financial burden on individual schools and districts.

Implementing Alyssa's Law in Pennsylvania would significantly enhance the safety and security of students and staff. Panic button systems ensure that help is just a button press away, potentially reducing response times and mitigating the impact of emergencies.

Telecor’s eSeries Public Address and Intercom Solution

As we’ve been studying Alyssa’s Law and our solution portfolio, we like Telecor’s eSeries product set. Many schools already use Telecor for public address, such as bells, clocks and paging; adding panic alarms to that same notification network is typically an expedient upgrade. The software includes real-time map-based reporting, so you can see immediately which classrooms have triggered the panic button, which classrooms have marked themselves as safe, and which have signaled that they have evacuated. Telecor integrates nicely with the Genetec security platform too, so law enforcement can instantly gain that same visibility.

School Safety is Our #1 Priority

We welcome Alyssa’s Law because steadfast communication is the foundation for swift and coordinated response. We will be closely monitoring the development of Alyssa’s Law. If you have any questions about the compatibility of your current public address and intercom solutions, please contact us for a consultation. We have no greater passion than making our children’s schools as safe as we possibly can.

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