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Glen Lake first school in state to install gunshot detectors in new security system

Glen Lake first school in state to install gunshot detectors in new security system

LEELANAU COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- It's back to school for students across northern Michigan.

And one school district is taking an extra step to keep your child safe.

Glen Lake Community Schools installed new security systems over the summer, which will help protect students in the event of an active shooter.

“One thing we’ve heard loud and clear is whatever it takes to keep kids safe,” said Superintendent Sander Scott.

Starting this year, their school is now equipped with a new system, one their team came up with themselves by combining systems from multiple companies.

“We didn’t want to have a single point of failure for a system,” said Director of Administration and Instructional Technology Marcus Mead. “We wanted our system to be redundant enough that in a crisis and in an emergency if our plan A doesn’t work, we got option B.”

It's made up of two components, the Bluepoint alert stations are the first part.

The stations are installed in every classroom and in the hallways at Glen Lake. They work just like a fire alarm. When it’s pulled the alarm is sounded and police will be on their way.

“We wanted it so that no one would have to leave a classroom to pull an alarm,” said Mead. “That it would be right there at your fingertips and we want that visible to our students, our community members, and train them so that anyone can pull the alarm.”

But Mead says a lot of times people don't recognize the sound of gunshots right away, so even if no one pulls the alarm, they installed gunshot sensors that work like a smoke detector.

“So in common areas if heaven forbid someone fires a gun, that decision is no longer a human decision,” said Mead. “The sensor will make that decision and notify the authorities and put the school into lock down.”

The system cost 156,000 dollars, but it could end up saving lives and for parents that means everything.

“In my mind and in my wife’s mind to know that we can feel assured that he is going to be safe throughout the day and coming to and from school is a big thing for us,” said Glen Lakes Community Schools parent Rob Dymond.

While some schools in the state have the Bluepoint systems installed, Glen Lake is the first in the state to have shot detectors.

“People trust us to keep their kids safe and to educate them while they’re here and we take that responsibility really really seriously,” said Scott. “So we really put together a comprehensive and unique system that we think will be the model for schools not only in Michigan but perhaps across the nation.”

The money for the security system came out of the school's general fund, which they had already set aside for security and other capital improvements.

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