Pilot program pairs Shelton employees with security ‘pals’

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — City Hall will soon be getting a boost in its security.

The Board of Aldermen, at its meeting Thursday, approved $49,600 to participate in a pilot security program offered by National Protective Services. The company presented its security plan to the aldermen’s Public Health and Safety Committee last month, and the board voted to support the plan.

Specifics of the new security system are still being worked out, as this is a pilot program, according to Alderman Cris Balamaci, chair of the board’s Public Health and Safety Committee.

But she stated that the pilot program to begin in City Hall could be expanded to the city’s school buildings down the road.

“This is a forward-thinking step,” Balamaci told the aldermen Thursday.

Balamaci said law enforcement will be able to see any potential security issue prior to an incident in real time.

“The reason we are going with this company is because they are the sole source entity that utilizes radio frequency/hard wire rather than their competitors that utilize Wi-Fi which can be unreliable and have dead zones,” Balamaci added.

The system, provided by National Protective Services, is called Campus Shield, a radio frequency technology panic button system that allows individuals to instantly alert first responders to an emergency anywhere in City Hall.

According to the company’s information provided to the aldermen, the key-fob sized panic button or PAL (personal alarm locator) travels with individuals on a lanyard or in a pocket and works indoors or outdoors.

There are no dead zones, and the service provides accurate location information whether the person in distress is in a basement, first floor classroom or third floor bathroom, the company said.

Each PAL is assigned to a specific user, allowing first responders to identify the individuals in distress. Once a PAL is pressed, monitors display a picture of the PAL holder, profile information as well as location of the emergency. If the PAL holder moves during activation, the company states, their location updates automatically on the monitor.