Fire, police working to improve school safety

Law enforcement and fire leaders say they want to make your student’s school safer against intruders and active shooters.

Massac County’s fire and police departments are working together to install emergency door stops.They’re called Night Lock Lockdown Devices. The departments are hoping to raise enough money to get them installed in every classroom in the district.  First responders say to get to the schools furthest out in the county, it can take them around 10 minutes. But, when seconds matter, they want schools to have every safety precaution in place to save your student’s life.

Some of the doors don’t lock from the inside, and that’s why local fire and police leaders say something like a door stop can make a difference.

Metropolis Fire Capt. Micah Tolbert may have trouble getting his son to finish his sandwich, but Tolbert says dropping his son off at school, something else — a safety concern — caught his eye immediately. Tolbert says: “Should an active shooter incident occur, the teacher has to come out in the hallway.”

Tolbert says that is why he’s trying to get the door stops installed in all schools, in every classroom. He says: “It’s kind of overwhelming to takeover a project like this knowing how important it is to get it done.”

Freedom Elementary Principal J.R. Conkle says safety is always a priority, and he hopes collaborating with first responders can make his school safer. He says: “With us being out in the county, a little further away from the sheriff’s department and other agencies, it is a concern, because we are trying to buy a little more time.”

As a young father, Tolbert says he hates having to think of an active shooter in his son’s school. He says: “Not only do we have to discuss them. We have to plan for them.”

But, Tolbert says, he knows the importance of keeping his and everyone’s children safe. Tolbert says: “It’s one thing to treat an adult with injuries. It’s a whole other ballgame when you’re treating a child, especially when you have a child of your own.”

The project isn’t cheap, but Tolbert estimates it averages out to about $7 per student.

If you’d like to donate, you can do that at the Metropolis Banterra Bank, City National Bank, or at the fire and police stations. There is also a GoFundMe page

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