MARIETTA, GA. -- Just like a bank, Marietta City Schools will now be able to summon a police response with the push of a button. The new panic switches weren't installed directly in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting, but they were fast-tracked by it.
"We know we will never be able to prevent 100 percent of the crime from occurring," said Officer David Baldwin of the Marietta Police Department. "But we want our schools to be as hard a target as possible for any type of criminal activity, to keep the kids and the staff as safe as possible."
The buttons are in a secret location in the school, and bypass 911 dispatchers to send a response quickly. While units are underway, dispatchers can figure out what's going on.
"It's for an emergency, a 'We need you now' kind of response," said Marietta High School principal Leigh Colburn.
The panic buttons are part of a larger threat assessment survey the school system has undertaken this year. The report examines everything from building construction, lighting and landscaping to door locks and camera locations to determine the safest way to operate.
At about $5000 dollars for the 11 schools in the small charter district, Baldwin said installing the panic buttons was an easy choice.
"You can't put a price on the lives of our students here, so every effort we make is worthwhile," Baldwin said.