Shelby school district is giving potential security threats ‘The Boot.’

June 13, 2016
Displaying 'The Boot' security devices at Shelby Public Schools are, left to right, Shelby Police Chief Terry TenBrink, Early Childhood Center Coordinator Teresa Mead, Oceana County Sheriff Robert Farber, Shelby Public Schools Superintendent Dan Bauer and Shelby Public Schools Director of Maintenance Gary Stark.

Displaying ‘The Boot’ security devices at Shelby Public Schools are, left to right, Shelby Police Chief Terry TenBrink, Early Childhood Center Coordinator Teresa Mead, Oceana County Sheriff Robert Farber, Shelby Public Schools Superintendent Dan Bauer and Shelby Public Schools Director of Maintenance Gary Stark.

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

SHELBY — School is out for the summer, but Shelby Public Schools officials, local law enforcement officers and The Lockdown Company representatives are hard at work, making the school district a safer place.

Last week, Lockdown President and Owner Robert Couturier and his crew were installing 26 “The Boot” security devices in the Early Childhood Center classrooms.

The Boot, which costs $150 each, is a security device designed to impede doorway entry. It is a rectangular-shaped plate of 1/8-inch thick steel that when fully-engaged can withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure. Weighing just over five pounds, it is small but mighty. It is also simple to install. Two pegs at the bottom fit into two holes on the floor. It is so easy to put into place that a 4-year-old child can do it, said Shelby Public Schools Superintendent Dan Bauer. Yet it is so powerful, that it makes the door 400 times stronger, said Shelby ECC Coordinator Teresa Mead.

Couturier developed The Boot after his daughter was brutally attacked. The Boot’s name and design concept can be attributed to the attacker, who to protect himself from approaching police, locked himself in his apartment. Sitting on the floor with his back against the entryway wall and pushing his boots up against the back of the door, he made it difficult for anyone to enter. The leverage of the boots was incredibly strong and the image was hard for Couturier to forget.

The Lockdown Company, which is based in Fowlerville, Michigan, has installed over 25,000 boots in three years. There have been two incidents of The Boot saving lives, so far, Couturier said.

Money to pay for the security measures at the ECC came from Headstart, the Great Start Readiness Program and the district’s general fund. With summer school beginning in a few weeks, the ECC building will be fully equipped, security-wise.

In the event that a student may use The Boot to lock a teacher out of the room, it can be unlocked using a proprietary and confidential spin key.

In addition to The Boot, the ECC will have new “rapid response placards” that make classroom numbers much more visible to emergency responders. Instead of traditional room numbers that are flush against the wall, the placards are immediately visible upon entering the hallway because of their three-dimensional design.

Also, “ballistic shields” will be installed in entryway doors. When fired into with a high-powered assault rifle, the bullet minimally permeates the the unique material with limited expansion, causing razor-sharp edges at the penetration site. To gain entry, the shooter must use additional ammo and risk significant self injury by reaching through the jagged access point to unlock the door. The shields can be decoratively engraved with the school’s name and mascot to make it aesthetically-pleasing while saving lives.

The Shelby district has a $22,765,000 bond issue on the Aug. 2 ballot, and installing the security devices district-wide is included in the project, said Bauer. The superintendent said the rest of the buildings could be equipped over Christmas break. In total, it would be a $50,000 investment for the district to install the added security in all the buildings.

In the wake of recent school shootings across the nation, local law enforcement officials would like to see the security measures implemented county-wide. “We are working on making it a county-wide effort,” said Oceana County Sheriff Robert Farber.

Shelby Police Chief Terry TenBrink has increased police presence at Shelby schools after recently coming on board as the new chief. Adding a liaison officer is currently in the works, TenBrink said. The new chief has been working directly with the school system in an effort to decrease juvenile crime in Shelby, which he has seen on the rise in recent years.

The increased security measures at the school also include staff training and additional surveillance cameras.

Bauer said starting the project at the ECC immediately protects the district’s youngest students, who are the most vulnerable children.

In addition to installing the security measures, the $2.7 million project on the ballot includes building additions; remodeling; furnishings; installing instructional technology; constructing a school maintenance building; purchasing school buses; and developing and improving playgrounds, athletic fields and facilities, parking areas, driveways and sites.

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds is 1.81 mills ($1.81 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation). The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is 25 years.

For more information about the security devices, visit www.thelockdownco.com.

Help Fund Local News

Please consider helping us keep local news active by sending a PayPal payment.

Subscribe to OCP via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,762 other subscribers