By Rick Ritter

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan announced a new app for Maryland students to anonymously report threats, problems or concerning behavior to authorities.

The idea is to make it easier for students who see something to say something.

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Students can also call a hotline to report issues at 1-833-MD-B-SAFE.

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The announcement comes six months after a shooting at Great Mills High School that took the life of 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey.

The sheriff’s office says 17-year-old Austin Rollins pulled into the parking lot around 7:50 a.m. Two minutes later, the teen walked through the school’s main entrance. Five minutes after that, investigators say the suspect found Willey in a hallway, approached and shot her in the head.

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“My daughter was hurt by a boy who shot her in the head and took everything from our lives,” Melissa Willey said at the time.

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This initiative could be an opportunity to save lives and be a step ahead of the next tragedy.

“It could happen anywhere it happened to us in our school I think it’s very important to follow up on every lead, every tip because you never know,” said Dr. Jake Heibel, principal of Great Mills High School.

The “Safe Schools MD” app can be downloaded through the Apple Store or Google Play.

The tip line again is 1-833-MD-B-SAFE. These reports are made anonymously and the tip line has workers 24/7, 365 days a year to answer the calls at the MEMA Center.

The information will be shared with school staff and law enforcement.

Hogan also announced $3.6 million in federal school safety grants, money he said will supplement more than $40 million in state funding for school safety in this year’s budget.

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Rick Ritter