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      Northport school ??boots?? up security

      Northport School Superintendent Jeff Tropf demonstrates the newly installed 'boot.'

      A Northern Michigan school district is taking extra security measures this year and they're using what's called a ??boot.??

      ??Fine motor skills disappear in a hurry under stressful situations,?? said Northport School Superintendent Jeff Tropf.

      Locking a door with a key or card could be difficult during a school emergency. Recent tragedies across the nation have put school safety on the fast track.

      ??Sandy Hook accelerated the conversation but I believe that all schools based on the social events around the country and some of the tragedies that have taken place have had comprehensive school safety discussions?| last spring we had a comprehensive discussion between the sheriff's department; between Leelanau Township and Northport School as to what steps Northport could take to make Northport schools very, very safe.??

      Tropf became aware of the boot in August. Installation is simple and only takes a few seconds to put into place. The school board adopted the plan to install the boots, invented by Rob Couturier of The Lockdown Co., for an estimated $16,000.

      ??I thought it was impressive. I thought it was simple and I thought that it really would provide a high degree of safety for our staff and our kids.??

      Tropf says the boots are about half the cost of other security options, including locks and card access systems. He believes Northport is the first K-12 school in the country to have the boots installed.

      ??The last thing we want to do is attempt to make it a fortress. What we're trying to do is just simply protect our kids to a very high degree and our staff.??