HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.—Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker announced Tuesday that a new SAVE (School Active Violence Emergency) hotline will be implemented in Suffolk County schools to improve police response times to emergencies.
Suffolk County schools will now be equipped with phones programmed to dial the 911 center supervisor, bypassing the customary interview with an emergency operator. The call will instantly display the school's location, allow for immediate communication and initiate dispatch of the nearest available emergency responders.
The SAVE hotline is being implemented following a comprehensive study by the Suffolk County Police Department to determine the effectiveness and cost of an emergency notification system.
“We must do everything in our power to protect our children and with Suffolk County’s SAVE hotline we will provide schools with an additional cost effective option for school safety,” Legislator Anker said. “Time will be saved by providing a dedicated line for school emergencies, which will reduce response time. I commend the Police Department for completing this study so quickly and I look forward to working together to implement these recommendations.”
“The SAVE hotline will provide law enforcement with the real time information they need to effectively respond to an emergency,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “I applaud Legislator Anker for her leadership to make sure we do everything possible to protect our children.”
After considering other options, including the use of panic alarms, the SCPD confirmed that the SAVE hotline represents a reliable, inexpensive and simple system that will expedite police response time in active violence situations in our schools. Panic alarms, the department pointed out, would not provide the details needed, such as the nature and location of the incident, for police to respond appropriately and effectively.
“When police officers respond to incidents, the more information they have going in, the better, said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber. “This system will allow officers to get details on an emergency which will ultimately better protect our school children and first responders.”
The Executive Board of the Suffolk County School Supervisor’s Association also unanimously supports the plan.
Over the next few weeks, Suffolk County police will be working to implement the system throughout Suffolk County schools.
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