Local dignitaries gathered in the back parking lot at Los Alamitos High School as construction workers installed a blue emergency tower as part of a pilot program for the safety devices in the county.
Pressing a button on the tower instantly connects a person to emergency services, giving both audio and visual connection as well as an immediately available location to the dispatchers. Towers like this one are fairly common sights on college campuses across the country, but more rare in high schools.
Los Al High boasts the first blue emergency tower at a high school in the county; the school will test the effectiveness of the device as an added layer of security at no cost for six months. After the trial period, the Los Alamitos Unified School District will choose whether to keep the one tower, add more towers, or return the tower and end the program.
The cost for this initial tower was minimal since it is part of a pilot program. Further towers, should they be installed, would be paid for out of either the General Fund or through a bond measure (such as Measure G, which is on the November 2018 ballot).
Dignitaries at the event included Los Alamitos Unified School District Board of Education President Jeff Barke; Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar and City Councilmember Shelley Hasselbrink; Los Alamitos Police Chief Eric Nuñez; Seal Beach Mayor Mike Varipapa; Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes; and Tim Whitacre from the Office of Supervisor Michelle Steel.