New Emergency Alert System Has Arrived at BHS

BHS faculty have been provided with wearable badges that can be used to contact administration or the police in an emergency.

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BHS faculty watch an informational video on the new security system.

Evangeline Eastman, Jasper Bennett, Senior Editor, Staff Reporter

BANGOR–On January 4th, Bangor High faculty gathered in Peakes Auditorium for a meeting regarding the new security system that has just been put into effect in all Bangor School Department schools. 

Every faculty member was provided with a badge that is designed to alert the proper authorities in an emergency. The badges are about the shape and size of a teacher’s normal ID badge, and they each have a single button. 

When pressed its button is pressed three times, the badge sends an alert to the main office, letting the administration know that a minor-level emergency (an injury, a fight between students, a mental health crisis, etc.) has occurred and the teacher needs help. 

With eight presses, the badge immediately sends the school into lockdown, notifies the local police department, and causes an announcement to be played over the intercom with the message: “Locks, lights, out of sight” and further instructions on what students and teachers should do. This option is meant to be used if there is an active shooter in the school.

The security system is designed to reduce the amount of time it takes to get help in any emergency. The system can also pinpoint the exact location where a badge was pressed.

Teachers at the meeting were able to ask questions and develop an understanding of the system. They underwent training on how to use their badges and were able to hear what the intercom message would sound like if it were triggered. 

During the training, all attendees were instructed to press their badges to set off the alert. The system could tell that they were in the auditorium, and it could even distinguish between attendees in the middle of the auditorium and ones at the very edge, only a wall away from the hallway. 

Some attendees raised the question of how easily the badges could accidentally be set off. 

Ray Phinney, the School Safety & Communications Director, said he’s had his badge since December 14th and has never accidentally set it off. He encouraged teachers to be careful, but not overly concerned. Since the badge must be pressed three times in a row to set off an alert, it is unlikely that it could be set off accidentally. 

These security systems have been implemented at all schools in the Bangor School Department system. Any badge will work inside any school. They also work outside of a school as long as they aren’t very far away from it. This means teachers could use the badges to alert authorities of a serious injury on the playground or a fight that happens outside of the school building. 

The system was designed by a security company called Centegix, which designs and implements security systems for schools, workplaces, and other facilities.

Two security badges. The button can be seen near the top of the badge on the right.
Two security badges. The button can be seen near the top of the badge on the right.
Paula Kirkpatrick, a BHS English teacher, poses with her new badge.
Paula Kirkpatrick, a BHS English teacher, poses with her new badge.