State Representative James Ratliff of District 60 and State Representative Scott Baltz of District 61 both explained their support for expansion of the “Panic Button” Program to include local colleges.

Each of these representatives have colleges within their districts, Black River Technical College and Williams Baptist College. State Rep. Scott Baltz introduced the Act 950 School Safety Bill which was passed in 2015 amd implemented in all public schools statewide.

The Panic Button Program has already been credited with saving the life of a Mississippi County student since installed. The button alerts School Nurses, School SRO Officers and Administration within 3 seconds of an emergency.

Representative Baltz and Ratliff both expressed a need to expand this program to the local colleges. This program cost less than 2 dollars per student per year. The proposal for each college student to have this on their phone expands the number of reporters from just teachers and administration to each student having the ability to report things immediately.

How the program works is a student downloads the app to their phone, the app has the ability to call up to 8 people at once which would include school administrators and parents. Also included in the app is a GPS program that automatically tracks the phone once the app has been activated in case of emergency.

State Rep. Ratliff and Baltz stated the current funding for the program was obtained from the Attorney General’s Office and will continue through 2017.