Two Apps Aim to Save Lives

Two applications are available to save lives in case of a school shooting.

They are called Guard911 and Hero911. The Guard911 app is for school staff members and Hero911 is for law enforcement. They are linked together in case violence strikes at a school.

The President of the Hero911 Network, Mike Snyders said, the motivation behind the creation of the two apps was Sandy Hook.

Michael Snyders spent a lot of time protecting people. Now that the colonel has retired from the state police force, he's still aiming to save lives, but this time through two apps.

Snyders said, "we just knew there was something we could do to shorten the police response time to active shooters."

With the help from police officers and a technology staff, they created Hero911 and Guard911.

They have fire drills all the time. There hasn't been any children killed from a fire that I know of, but here recently there have been a lot of children killed by an active shooter," said Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp of Christian County.

If a teacher feels threatened, any school staff member with the app downloaded can touch a button on the app and a panic button bursts an alert from a teacher to a police officer.

"You could have a good 60 to 90 to 120 second head start to respond to the emergency before your radio 911 dispatch even tells you of the emergency," Snyders added.

Sheriff Kettelkamp said, "it could be a big school and if we know exactly where they're at we could go right to it."

Some staff members with the Columbia Illinois School District have the app downloaded.

Dr. Beth Horner, the Assistant Superintendent of Columbia schools said, "anything we can do to save our kids lives, we're not going to turn our heads to."

However, with new technology, money is involved. Hero911 is free for law enforcement, but schools have to pay to use the services.

"There's a lot of competition for the various services and there can be some funding opportunities for the schools," Snyders said.

Also, Guard 911 is not just for a school shooting. A principal can also send messages to teachers instead of using the intercom.
Already more than 10,000 officers have downloaded the app.

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