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Senior living center receives safety device to combat active threats

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) - A local senior center received a new device that could be the key to stopping an attacker or active threat.

Gloria Marcott trained staff on the Defensive Active Device (D.A.D.) at the Ridge Senior Living Center, a facility that houses hundreds of residents and employees.

"The biggest thing behind it is the GPS crowd alert. What that means is it makes you go from being alone to having the ability to tell everybody with a certain radius of you or anyone within your contact list that has the D.A.D app that you're in danger with your GPS coordinates in a map," said Marcott.

In addition to the GPS technology, the D.A.D. also includes military strength pepper spray and a multi-mode flashlight.

"It is also an impact tool. It's made of polycarbonate which also does the same thing as bulletproof glass and NFL helmets. So when you talk about survivability under an attack, it is going to survive that event," said Marcott.

Marcott has been a police officer for nearly 15 years, having responded to numerous active threats in her career. Having taught women's self-defense for the last two decades, she is now also a master trainer for the D.A.D.

"It's like having an army of helpers along with a stopping action. So it would be incredibly difficult for an attacker to keep doing what they're doing with this device in hand," said Marcott.

Sheryl Johnston, the executive director of the Ridge Senior Living Center said having her staff trained on the D.A.D. gives her peace of mind.

"I feel better knowing that if something were to happen, whether I'm here or not, my staff will have tools available," said Johnston. "Safety is absolutely our number one priority."

The Defensive Active Device was developed by Michael Teig of Midway and his brother, Randy approximately two years ago. Their goal is to get it into schools, which they say would be a cost-effective solution in the debate about school safety.

"We absolutely think that this is something that senior living communities, hotels, school districts, universities should all be taking a look at," said Johnston.

Marcott said the D.A.D. has a 96 percent stop rate with an attacker. She said the device isn't just for facilities with large gatherings of people, it also serves as a protective measure on an individual-basis.

"We've actually had a young girl that was in Naples, Italy with a friend. She had to utilize the device on someone that was running straight at them," said Marcott. "That alert went all the way to her mom in Utah. Her mom contacted the family back in Italy, who called police. They were able to avert that attack and everybody ended up being okay."

For more information on the D.A.D., click here.


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