Schools across the state will soon have panic alarms installed for an extra layer of security. The N.C. General Assembly mandated during the 2013 session that every public school must have a panic alarm system installed by July 2015.
The new requirement was part of a larger proposal to beef up school security, also requiring school boards to adopt emergency response plans and encouraging districts to hold systemwide safety exercises every two years.
In New Hanover County, every school will have at least one alarm installed, said Bill Hance, the district's assistant superintendent for operations. Each alarm will allow someone to push a button that will directly call a city or county law enforcement agency.
"Everything has been coordinated with local law enforcement and the 911 center, and the alarm will go to the closest law enforcement agency to be able to respond," Hance said.