North Center school adds technology in case of active shooter

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A school in the city's North Center neighborhood has installed new technology to help in case there is an active shooter.

School is well underway at St. Benedict Preparatory School, and students had a new safety exercise to learn how to operate new technology meant to help them in case of an active shooter.

Blue Point Rapid Emergency Response System has installed blue pull boxes and lights throughout the school that will alert everyone if there is an active shooter situation.

"If they were in a situation where they if they saw someone with a weapon or using a weapon they are able the pull the box and start the notification to police," said Rachel Gemo, St. Benedict Preparatory School.

In addition to the blue pull boxes, teachers and staff wear mobile devices that can activate the system. Once activated, teachers get alerts sent to their phone to find out where the problem is and what to do next.

"The teacher can make the decision: is it close by and I need to lock down or it is far enough away to evacuate," Gemo said. "The system cost $89,000, but parents we spoke with are grateful for the investment."

"Hopefully we never have to encounter this sort of situation but if we even were know that we are in better hands than we would have been prior to this system being introduced," said Jen Patras, parent.

Staff said the kids see the Blue Box drills like fire alarms drills. And at St. Ben's the parish is also part of the system, just in case.
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schoolactive shooterschool safetyemergency drillChicagoNorth Center
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