South Carolina sheriff will provide schools with breakthrough equipment to prevent another Uvalde massacre

A South Carolina district is outfitting schools with new tools to increase security and ensure nothing like the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, can happen in that community.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office provides schools and sheriff’s deputies with safety gear, essential tools that Sheriff Steve Mueller needs said WSPA-TV can help neutralize a potential threat.

The kits come with axes, crowbars and cutting tools useful for breaching barricaded entrances to classrooms or other school areas.

“We can break down that classroom or that door as quickly as possible to get in and stop or neutralize a threat,” Mueller said.

The nation was shocked in May when a deranged gunman broke into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and massacred a roomful of schoolchildren. The gunman locked himself in a classroom and murdered 19 students and two teachers. Appealing police officers in protective vests waited in the hallway more than an hour outdoors before invading the classroom and neutralizing the shooter.

Mueller said equipping his deputies and school resource officers with breakthrough kits will prevent the same mistakes that caused children to bleed and die while waiting for help.

“We want to take these breakthrough kits and put them in the hands of all our SROs as well as our other officers who patrol during school hours. And we’re actually going to try to get them into all the schools,” the WSPA Sheriff said.

He noted that in hostile situations, SWAT teams can use breakthrough kits and save valuable time responding to a threat.

“Tragically, because from what we’ve seen in Texas, we can’t sit back and wait 30 minutes to an hour or more for the injury to arrive at the scene,” he added.

Demand for safety equipment has risen sharply as law enforcement agencies across the country update their policies in response to the Uvalde massacre. Mueller said his department is looking at ways to buy each tool in the kit individually, rather than buying the kits as a whole, which can cost between $650 and $800 per kit.

“So we’re considering putting these together and buying the individual parts from our local Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and we think we can save a bit of money buying these parts individually versus buying a kit,” he said .

The sheriff said he is asking local authorities to approve more funds for his office to strengthen school security.

“We want parents to have confidence in law enforcement that we are protecting their children and we will protect them at all costs,” he said.

Watch: South Carolina sheriff will provide schools with breakthrough equipment to prevent another Uvalde massacre

Laura Coffey

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