TCAPS Approves Boot Security Equipment for Every Classroom in District

Traverse City Area Public Schools will step up security at every one their buildings.

The TCAPS board voted Monday night to buy special equipment designed to significantly slow down any potential armed attacker.

The school year is winding down, and TCAPS leaders Paul Soma and Sander Scott are now thinking ahead to next year and how to improve security at all 19 of their facilities.

“They haven’t traditionally been designed to address the type of incidents that we’ve had to deal with as a country in recent years.” 

The district is already making an effort with special measures and state-mandated lock-down drills.

“But, it’s always come up short relative to the facility itself and the facility’s ability to keep the bad guy out.”

So, TCAPS is taking it up a notch.

They’re spending $480,000 with the Okemos, Michigan based lock-down company.

The district is buying aluminum shields for every school entrance and boot locks for each classroom door.

“It’s a security mechanism that does not allow entrance past the door.”

“The way the boot works, it’s a steel device. It’s attached to the bottom of the door. It has two big steel prongs on the bottom of it and two holes cut into the floor. Once the door is shut, that device is put down into those two holes, keeping any potential intruder out.”

“It’s a product that’s endorsed by the Michigan State Police. A proven tool to really prevent that intruder from being able to do the damage that he came on site to do.”

While the district admits the system is not the end all, be all, they say it will slow down and frustrate an intruder when a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

“It moves the line dramatically from a secure environment that we have now to an even more secure environment.”

Money for the project is coming from the the district’s capital plan funded by the sale of bonds.

It breaks down to about $20,000 per building.

The district hopes to have it in place by the beginning of next school year.