WBTV - CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer is hoping a device he invented will be in your child's school soon. It's designed to keep active shooters out of classrooms.
It's a scary thought that no parent wants to think about but, in light of recent attacks, Sergeant Chris Kopp wants you and your kids to plan for an active shooter.
Using Sergeant Kopp's invention - the Barricade Box - rising 10th grader Hailey Kalsky is able to barricade a classroom door in just seven seconds. It's different from the lockdown drills she's practiced in school.
"Class will stop and we'll get under our desks sometimes, but not all the time. So usually we'll just sit and just wait. They'll cover up the door, close the blinds and everything, but that's it," said Kalsky. "Only one teacher out of my ten years of school had a plan on how to get out if there was an active shooter."
Sergeant Kopp has been teaching active shooter survival classes and has studied mass shootings since Columbine to teach people how to plan.
"As soon as a gunman enters a room, your mindset really needs to change," Kopp said. He invented the Barricade Box to stop an active shooter from entering a room and to buy the people inside time.
"You need to start thinking about other options. One is trying to find a secondary exit - whether it be through a window, a ceiling, even going through a wall. Or being prepared if the gunman does come into the room. You need to be prepared to counter that gunman and to attack them in some shape or form. Just hiding under your desk, you're just going to be a victim," Kopp said.
The box is mounted to the wall. Anyone can take the cover off of it to reveal a spool with a special type of rope inside.
"The cord is made by kevlar. It's a special braided cord it can withstand about 2,000 pounds of strength. It's also cut-resistant and burn proof," Kopp said.
The rope is there to be tied around the door knob and then back to the bracket mounted on the wall.
"As long as you get it into two of these V-clamps, that's not going anywhere," Kopp said while demonstrating.
The design is meant to be fool-proof and self-contained. Kopp has shown people to use cords or shoestrings during his active shooter survival classes.
"When stress kicks in, common sense goes out the window. Unless you already trained that and planned it out, it's going to be actually hard to do when something is actually happening," Kopp said.
Kopp said since Columbine, his passion has been helping people survive - and Orlando is a reminder that these mass shootings are not going away.
"Unfortunately, we're seeing after each active shooter we haven't done anything since the last one," Kopp said. "I don't want it to be misleading, like I'm trying to capitalize on misfortunes and tragedy that's going on in our country. This only fuels my passion even more to get a device like this out there so we can save lives for the next time."
Two months ago he came up with the idea. His wife is a teacher and they have three kids. His family helped him test it.
"Active shooter situations last about 12 minutes, law enforcement is there in about five," Kopp said.
So far, Christ the King High School is the only school that has two barricade boxes. Kopp started selling them online through his company, Locked Down International, which can be found at barricadebox.com.
Kopp said he has family in Florida, and is going there next week to talk to law enforcement about his invention.
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