Inexpensive school security measures to save lives - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Inexpensive school security measures to save lives

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

A coast safety expert, horrified by the Newtown Connecticut school shootings, says school systems must re-think what he calls "ineffective security measures." He offers some very effective, lost cost options that he says all schools in America can do immediately.

John Stachura of AAA Gulf Coast Security has been a leading expert in his field for 24 years. He says schools with locked doors and cameras give a false sense of security.

"What horrified me was they showed all these fancy camera equipment and all that, and they had these glass front doors."

He says schools must get away from glass windows and doors. In Connecticut, police say an enraged Adam Lanza simply shot through a door window to get inside.

Stachura has suggestions for schools on how to really protect their children and staff. For about $700 each, fog cannons can fill a room with non-toxic fog in three seconds. There are several examples on YouTube showing botched robberies thanks to fog systems.

"When it catches them by surprise, they get disoriented and they leave in almost every case. The bottom line is if this had been in place in Connecticut and they had hit the panic button, they would have filled that office with smoke so quick the shooter wouldn't have had time to react. And you can't shoot what you can't see."

Many fog systems also come with strobe lights and sirens that are even more effective. But he offers some very low cost options, as well. For just $5, several metal strips with a hole drilled at each end can be placed over glass doors. Inexpensive gate locks can give extra protection on interior doors and buy time for police to arrive. And for just $4, a rubber door-stop could easily be added to every classroom in America right now.

"Then, if something happens, you can jam it under the door in just one good kick."

This long time security expert said some things can and must be done to make sure another Newtown tragedy never happens again.

"Unfortunately, security for schools comes down to budget and it's a shame that we have to put children's lives against a dollar amount. I think that's going to change, it has to change."

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