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School district revamping security system

“You see the carnage going on around the country and just because we’re a little town doesn’t mean we’re immune to that,” Lake County Sheriff Dennis Robinson said. “So, anything could happen anytime, any day, and we want to be prepared for that.”

LAKE CO., Mi. (WPBN/WGTU)--Baldwin Community Schools hired the Lockdown Company to install a safety boot in the doors of the schools, which makes it difficult to break in.

"You see the carnage going on around the country and just because we're a little town doesn't mean we're immune to that," Lake County Sheriff Dennis Robinson said. "So, anything could happen anytime, any day, and we want to be prepared for that."

Sheriff Robinson was the one who made the call to the company after seeing they installed the boot to all Mason County Schools.

"I think it's important because public safety is what we do," Sheriff Robinson said. "The schools and the kids are a part of that and we need to protect our kids in any way we can."

Rob Couturier invented the boot system and started the Lockdown Company more than three years ago. He says after the first year, they've almost quadrupled in size.

"If an emergency happens, kids, adults, or anybody can drop this in and secure a room in a matter of seconds," Couturier said. "So, they get themselves into a protected area or a safe place in that room waiting for direction from the staff. It is one of the only products out on the market that law enforcement can gain entry extremely quickly and only law enforcement can."

Baldwin Community Schools Superintendent Stiles Simmons tells us they've invested more than $40,000 in the last four years to upgrade security systems and that this is just another step for students and staff safety.

"You can never be too careful," Superintendent Simmons said. "So, I think anytime you have an opportunity to add protection of your school, then you should do it."

The Lockdown Company will also place emergency room placard numbers on the doors in the summer.

The cost of the project is $27,000. The school is paying for a third of it, they got a grant from the Lake County Community Foundation and will also were awarded a grant from the Lockdown Company. The district will be asking for the community to help, as well, to adopt-a-door. Sheriff Robinson will be writing a check for the first door.

Couturier says they've installed the boots in Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties, as well. He says he started the company because his daughter was attacked six years ago and that she will now be the company's CEO upon graduating from the University of Michigan.

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