Incarnation School in Centerville makes security upgrades after Florida school shooting

Incarnation School in Centerville makes security upgrades after Florida school shooting (WKEF/WRGT)

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - In the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting that left 17 people dead, a Centerville school is upgrading its security.

More than 900 students go to the Incarnation School and there are 85 staff members.

Leah Coghlan has been with the school for more than 15 years, the last three she has served as the assistant principal.

"We have worked very hard to be proactive, rather than reactive," Coghlan said.

The school is set to start using a brand-new technology to make it even safer.

“We’re always looking to make sure we’re ahead of the pack. We’re always making sure that we’re implementing things and looking for potential breaches that we can shore up and that we can assess and not just respond to appropriately but also creatively because we’ve got to think about all different kinds of potential threats,” Coghlan said.

For a few years, many schools have had what's essentially a panic button in the main office. It’s part of the MARCS system.

It allows them to get help at the press of a button, but you had to be able to press the button in the office. The new system developed by P & R Communications will allow them to get help from anywhere.

"So, they push and hold this [button] for a second. So, this [radio] is at the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center and this is what these radios [at Incarnation School] will do. So, every radio at Incarnation will make this sound,” Katie Ward with P & R Communications said.

That's all it takes and help will be sent without any questions asked.

"We can activate that panic alert from anywhere in the building and save time and save lives," Coghlan said.

Coghlan said it's not just active shooter situations the school has to prepare for.

"But also for a parent who might be angry in the parking lot and maybe driving too quickly or a domestic dispute that spills over into the school's front lobby."

Ward is helping to install the new system and says it should be fully operation by next week.

"As a mother, and my kids are at Incarnation, it’s huge for me. And I think it’s huge for all the parents who have their kids here and at any school because you do [worry]. It’s a different environment today and to know that something like this can make that much of an impact is great," Ward said.

In addition to the technology upgrades, including surveillance cameras, teachers at Incarnation have gone through ALICE training and have been trained by the Dayton Bomb Squad.

Administrators also go through drills to train for real-life situations.

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