New tools out help schools in active shooter situations

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Area schools constantly update efforts to keep students safe.

A new device from a Wisconsin teen could be one upgrade.

It’s called “JustinKase” and can secure classroom doors from the inside during an active shooter situation.

It's creator said he was inspired after realizing his own school's vulnerability during an active shooter drill.

“You know being able to keep the door shut without having a way of disabling it is what I think really sells people,” inventor Justin Rivard said.

Rivard is shining new light on his door security device in the wake of last week's shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.

"You can lock a door and think that you're safe, but you never know what’s on the other side of the door or what kind of tools they have, you can definitely blast out a lock and it doesn't take very much to do so,” Rivard said.

Topeka Public Schools Police Chief Ron Brown said the “JustinKase” device is worth a look.

"We're happy to buy things that we believe will enhance the safety of the schools, and there are new products coming out all the time,” Chief Brown said.

USD 501 has dedicated 42 million dollars to security upgrades in the last five years alone.

"Keyless entry into the buildings, bullet resistant glass, lighting systems, we even looked at, for example, Bishop Elementary, and we actually closed the school, because we couldn't secure it properly."

Chief Brown said improvements are still to come, like their new crime stoppers app.

"What the intent is, is to put an app on all of our chrome books, so that when a student believes they have information they can report that anonymously, and as a result of that allow us to investigate any potential threat,” Brown said.

Rivard said he sees his “JustinKase” device moving beyond classrooms.

"Hospitals, colleges and their dorm rooms, um anything that has the standard metal door frames,” Rivard said.

Brown said one concern with the door lock, is someone would still need to approach the door and take time set it up.

He plans to meet soon with Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran, to review their communication plans during an active shooter situation.