Sheriff Chuck Miller is pleased to announce a new, innovative program his office is undertaking involving steps to provide a no-cost additional layer of security to all county schools. Borrowing from an initiative first developed out west utilizing decommissioned, used fire hoses, this method of using small 12 inch sections of fire hose to secure school classroom doors will be utilized as one last effort to provide an additional layer of effective security in providing safety to students during a critical incident, such as an active school shooter.
With the number of school shootings increasing over the past decade, law enforcement is always looking for innovative methods of protection to be utilized in protecting our most precious commodities; our children.
Over the past month, the Salem County Sheriff’s Office and inmates from the Correctional Facility have been preparing decommissioned fire hoses from the Salem County Fire Academy to be used as safety sleeves to be placed over hydraulic door closures within our schools here in Salem County. Sheriff Miller stated, “This simple, yet so effective device is a great tool in saving lives in a critical situation like a school shooting. The hose safety sleeve would not be left on the door during the day for fire code and ADA reasons, but in an emergent situation, the hose can quickly be placed over the door hydraulic closing arms preventing the door from being opened.” The Sheriff indicated the sleeves are something a teacher can put on fast, then take other steps to make the room a tougher target.
These “sleeves” will be utilized by school teachers and staff members if and when a school has been put on emergency lockdown ie: a disturbance within the school, or a school shooting. These safety sleeves will add another layer of protection in securing the classroom door so that an assailant would not be able to open the door and gain access to that classroom and possibly do more harm to additional students.
One of the additional benefits of these sleeves is that they are NO Cost to the school districts and all the materials necessary will be donated by fire departments that have old decommissioned hoses on hand and free inmate labor will be provided to cut and prepare the hoses for use.
The Sheriff is hopeful that law enforcement in each community will be able to assess their respective schools to determine the quantity of sleeves required for each classroom or office door to be provided with instructions to teachers and staff prior to the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.