Illinois schools install active shooter alarms

Illinois schools install active shooter alarms
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More than 20 schools in Illinois have reportedly installed new security systems, similar to fire alarms, that will call police in the event of a shooting.

Schools have spent thousands of on the new security systems out of a concern for gun violence, The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

The majority of the schools are outside of the city in the residential suburbs and none are public schools, according to the Tribune, which added that the system includes bright blue pull boxes which resemble fire alarms and are mounted around the school in case of an armed intruder.

A signal is sent to the company that provided the systems and then the police when the lever is pulled. The boxes can also be activated by school personnel with special fobs.

St. Benedict’s Preparatory School on Chicago's North Side spent nearly $90,000 to install 30 alarms throughout the campus. An additional $40,000 was spent on new security cameras, the Tribune noted.

“They really, sadly, are aware of this possibility,” said Rachel Gemo, head of the private school. “They are not immune to what they hear on TV.”

Fifth-grader Henry Klucznik said he’s only “two to three seconds” away from the closest box, according to the newspaper.

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“I feel a lot safer than I used to,” he said.

His mother, Molly Klucznik, told the Tribune that it was comforting to know the system is in place.

“It’s sad that we do have to think about this,” said Klucznik, who also has two other children at the school. “When I was growing up we had tornado drills.

“With all these examples across the country, you hope and pray it doesn’t happen to you and your school,” Klucznik said. “I really hope we never have to use (the alarm system), but it’s nice to be prepared.”

The new alarms come amid a push for gun control and school safety measures following the deadly school shootings in Parkland, Fla., and Santa Fe, Texas.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE established a White House commission on school safety in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, which left 17 people dead.

The commission convened last week and will release a report before the end of the year.

The final report will allegedly claim age restrictions on firearm purchases do not reduce the likelihood of school shootings, two sources familiar with discussions told The Washington Post.

The group will instead recommend that states increase training for gun owners instead and consider arming teachers and school personnel.