Schools Hope Direct Radio Contact With Police Could Save Lives

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Hundreds of central Ohio schools are asking for a grant to receive radios that communicate directly with police, bypassing dispatchers.

It’s a MARCS unit, which stands for Multi-Agency Radio Communications System.

The director of the program says it will change the way police respond to your school during a crisis.

The MARCS system bypasses making a phone call to 911.  

In the event of a crisis, like a gunman in a school, educators simply push a button which instantly alerts police dispatchers to send help immediately - saving precious seconds and possibly lives.

Whitehall-Yearling students started the school year in a brand new building and principal, Carl Svagerko, says a lot of planning went in to making the school safe.

“About 25 percent of the planning went into school locations, buzzer locations, those kinds of things,” said Svagerko.

Ohio School Safety Advocates believe the MARCS unit is the next best idea to keep your children safe at school.

“It's a fire alarm for police officers, or for a police response,” explains MARCS program director, Darryl Anderson.

Anderson demonstrated how it would work.

“All they have to do is hit this orange button,” he says.