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Illinois officer creates app to get nearby police to respond to school shootings

COLUMBIA, Ill. – According to police, most school shootings are over before officers ever arrive on the scene. An Illinois police officer who wants to change that with a smartphone app.

Nate McVicker helped design a smartphone app, called SchoolGuard, that could get more police officers to a school shooting quicker and locate the potential threat.

The app taps into a larger network of police officers, some of whom might be nearby on or off duty. The app also enables teachers and staff members to communicate with first responders directly.

The real-time GPS system can show police exactly where the threat is on school property.

“As it stands right now, a 911 call is made and by the time our officers get dispatched and get there, it’s well over with before we get there,” McVicker said. “The SchoolGuard and Hero911 service is alerting these officers within seconds-sometimes nanoseconds-for their immediate notification and their appropriate response.”

McVicker said school districts in 20 states, including Missouri and Illinois, have registered with the SchoolGuard app and 50,000 police officers around the country are connected to the network.