New Security Radio Tech Coming To Central Ohio Schools

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UPDATED: Thursday January 30, 2014 6:26 PM

The number of central Ohio school districts using a new type of security technology will be growing in the coming months.

Hilliard City Schools announced it is one of several districts to receive state grant money to purchase new radio technology used in emergency situations.

"We care about our students and staff. Their safety is our top priority,” said Amanda Morris, spokesperson for Hilliard City Schools.

The district says the radios will be placed in the front offices at each of the district’s twenty-four buildings.

The radio system replaces the need to dial 9-1-1 and will connect directly to dispatchers at the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center.

"You press the emergency button and what it does is it opens that radio, opens the microphone, for a two minute period,” said Hilliard Police Chief Doug Francis. “So whoever pushes that button can then tell the dispatcher what's going on."

At least eight other districts in central Ohio either already have similar technology in place or have plans to install it.

The list includes Chillicothe City Schools, Circleville City Schools, Grandview Heights City Schools, Groveport Madison Local Schools, New Albany-Plain Local Schools, Olentangy Local Schools, Teays Valley Local Schools and South-Western City Schools.

"It gets us there faster,” Francis said. "It gives us the opportunity to immediately know what's going on in that school."

Hilliard police say they will be working with the schools to determine what will be considered appropriate circumstances for schools to use the emergency button.

The Hilliard City School district hopes to have all of the radios installed by next school year and might have some in place this spring.

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