New Mexico State Police have invested in a new emergency notification application that schools can use to alert nearby officers when a school shooting occurs, NBC affiliate KOB reported.
The police department explained that the new app could give officers a few more seconds to respond to a school shooting, which could be enough to save lives. The high-tech app is a nation-wide alert system that teachers and school officials can use on their smartphones.
Once the school official sets off the alarm, police officers are notified instantly and help guide officers who are closest to the school to get to the scene faster. According to the source, the high-tech policing app is already being used by other police departments in different states.
"Phone lines can get jammed up and 911 can get bogged down," said Jeremy Vaughan, an officer with the New Mexico State Police, KOB reported.
Officials at the New Mexico State Police department continue to stress how being alerted a few seconds earlier could make all the difference in a shooting incident, the source reported. Lines getting jammed is a major concern since incidents like shootings need to be answered immediately.
"There are all those connections that need to be made," Vaughan added, according to KOB. "With this Hero 911 app there's one connection. That's between the school and the officers responding and that's it."
The app allows police officers to use it for free by using their special law enforcement certifications for verification, the source cited. School leaders would be able to activate the system and notify all officers within 10 miles of the incident location.
Increased need for response after school shooting
After 12-year-old Mason Campbell began to open fire in Berrendo Middle School last January, schools are looking for faster response times in case of an emergency, FOX affiliate KRQE reported.
"Any situation where we can protect our children and protect our staff and our students is very, very important," Jerry Moya, with Belen Consolidated Schools, explained to KOB.
Many police officials are hoping schools will sign up and adopt the new crime control technology.
"The sooner we get personnel there to address the threat, the more students and faculty we can save," Captain Nick Aragon, with the New Mexico State Police, said, according to the source.
Emergency response systems can give officers enough time to react and having the right crime control technology could save lives.