Willowick PD create safety app for students to report school threats

WILLOWICK, Ohio -- Students at Willowick Middle School now have a new way to communicate with police using a phone app called S.T.O.P.

It stands for "Students Text Officers Protect" and was created by the Willowick Police Department after the Parkland School shooting in Florida last year.

"What can we do to take away the hesitation to approach law enforcement with a tip, with a threat, with a concern?" said Willowick Police Chief Brian Turner.

The app allows students to directly text dispatchers about possible school threats.

It's not meant to be used to as a replacement for calling 9-1-1 in an emergency or to report cases of bullying. However, if police do receive information about bullying they will send it to school administrators.

Right now, S.T.O.P. is only available for use at the middle school, but Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools Superintendent Steve Thompson said they may eventually expand it to the high school.

"We just hope it's one more tool for our students to use to communicate with police and to help is hopefully prevent a tragedy," said Thompson.

 

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