January 22, 2019 Kendra Noonan

SDS Speaks at School Safety & Well-Being Forum in Hooksett, NH

School District Officials, N.H. Department of Homeland Security, Hooksett Police & Fire Address the community on steps the District has taken to secure schools against active shooter and other emergencies

Hooksett, NH, January 16, 2019 – The Hooksett School District hosted an open forum for parents and the community to visit the Cawley Middle School and hear from school officials, state and local law enforcement authorities, and Shooter Detection Systems about the upgrades to physical and procedural upgrades made to the three schools in the district that address the safety and security of students and staff.

The event, which had close to 100 community members in attendance, opened with Keynote Speaker John T. Broderick, Senior Director of External Affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Broderick spoke about “Recognizing the Five Signs of Mental Health Issues”, a cause near and dear to his family that has inspired the retired Judge to speak to schoolchildren across New England and encourage them to understand and remove the stigma commonly associated with mental illness.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Littlefield introduced the nine-person panel of speakers that included the Director of Student Services Christine Gialousis, New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management School Trainers Scott Lambertson and Dean Jore, School Principals Benjamin Loi, Stephen Harrises and Matthew Benson, SDS Gunshot Detection Specialists, Lieutenant Justin Sargent of Hooksett PD and Captain Joseph Stalker of Hooksett Fire Department. Each panel member spoke to the community about the various efforts put into place for the safety and security of the Hooksett School District, including everything from resources for students and parents, how state and local agencies work with the school on cross-departmental emergency management planning and training drills, upgrades to building exteriors to further harden security, and how the Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System is installed in all schools and alerts law enforcement and staff in case an active shooter incident unfolds in any of the three schools.

“We are extremely grateful to be invited to participate in this forum,” said Christian Connors, Chief Executive Officer of SDS. “The Guardian System is installed in all three Hooksett Schools and we feel this technology enables first responders like those sitting on the panel tonight with information they need when responding to an active shooter situation. Although we have many schools in New England and across the U.S. using our technology, Hooksett is leading the State of New Hampshire as the first school district to install gunshot detection.”

Attendees were supplied with a packet of information including information on the Guardian System, a Hooksett School District Emergency Guide for Parents, a pamphlet from changedirection.org on the Five Signs of Mental Illness, and a Hooksett PTA Health & Safety Resource Guide for Hooksett Families. The event concluded with a Q&A session between the community and the speakers. “We’re extremely grateful for the Hooksett School Board’s foresight and support of the technology,” continued Connors. “We know Hooksett will become a place where other New Hampshire Schools can come and learn about how they can take similar proactive measures to keep their schools safe and secure”.

For more information on the Forum and for an information packet, contact the Hooksett PTA at [email protected]. For more information about gunshot detection for K-12 schools, email SDS at [email protected].