Albany County Announces New School Safety Measures

A new school safety and security initiative in three school districts in Albany County was announced Wednesday. Starting in September, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Voorheesville, and Berne-Knox-Westerlo will have armed resource officers in the buildings, but that's only part of it.  

Sheriff Craig Apple says they've partnered with Motorola to provide communication equipment for school buses and strategic spots that will allow teachers or staff to get in touch with 911 instantly in case of an emergency by hitting that big orange button pictured above.  

Apple said, "the school year is rapidly approaching, we need to get something in place to let our kids come to school on the first day and feel safe and feel secure about coming to school and to learn."

The new initiative also includes an upgrade to the sheriff''s app, which will allow anyone to "see something, text something," and be in touch instantly with a live dispatcher.

Motorola Solutions, the leader in innovative, mission-critical communication solutions and services that help build safer cities and thriving communities, has provided the Albany County Sheriff’s Office with a countywide ASTRO 25 radio system. As part of this system, the school districts within the sheriff’s primary patrol zones will be receiving Motorola Solutions control stations that include large orange emergency buttons and portable radios that will allow for direct communication with 911.

“We are proud to be the technology partner of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office for public and school safety. Motorola’s technology is designed to enable first responders to be their best in the moments that matter.” said Lance Hamilton, Motorola Solutions Area Sales Manager, NY State.  “We fully support the Sheriff’s innovative school safety initiative and will work diligently with the Sheriff’s Office in realizing this vital project.”

Over this summer nineteen Emergency Panic Button Control Station radios in each of the school buildings and twenty portable radios will be deployed to be used outside of the building and off campus throughout the three school districts.

The system opens a direct emergency line of communications from the classrooms, cafeteria, library, outside locations and buses. It allows school administrations, teachers, hall monitors, security, maintenance, bus drivers and coaches to all communicate directly with the Albany County Sheriff’s 911 center and responding officers.

With just the touch of one button schools can instantly send an alert tothe 911 center without even having to speak.  The dispatcher can hear and monitor what is going on in the background and then can share that information with first responders while in route to the incident.

This system can be used in all types of emergencies, disaster, fire and active shooter incidents.  It can also be used in non-emergency situations so that the schools can utilize this system for normal day to day operations.

To make this communications project complete all the school buses in each district will be equipped with a mobile radio for emergency communications.

Photo: WGY News

Note: Some of the information in this article came from a press release from the Albany County Sheriff's Office.

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