WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — Like many school districts in Western Pennsylvania, West Mifflin is investing in security.
It’s happening not just outside of the school – stopping people they don’t want inside – but behind school doors as well.
School leaders at West Mifflin are proud of their security system, something that has been upgraded significantly recently. On Tuesday, they gave Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala a tour of the changes, and how they are keeping students and staff safe.
“Our response time here is almost instant. As soon as we get that message, we're responding to take care of the threat," said Police Chief Richard Pritchard.
That includes armed school police officers in every building, more cameras, locked entrances, and the installation of the “Blue Point System.”
If there is a threat and someone pulls on the handle, an automated school lockdown announcement goes out over the loud speaker. Everyone from police to school administrators are also automatically alerted.
They all get details of the threat on their phones, including a school floorplan to see where the alert came from.
Zappala called it the most comprehensive safety system he has seen in Western Pennsylvania.
"Those officers will converge as children stay behind them and they're going to lock that person into a particular area. If you can create a smaller and smaller perimeter, that's good stuff," said Zappala.
The system cost $5.5 million, but school board members told Channel 11 there were no tax increases to pay for the security upgrades.
Instead, money was reallocated from things like energy savings that made this a reality.
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