CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – With school years starting up again, safety is something on every parent’s mind.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is putting life-saving equipment inside all their schools.
Sheriff Steve Mueller said breaching kits can make all the difference when it comes to saving lives. He said their goal is to get these kits into the hands of all their deputies, but starting by placing them in schools, first.
These breaching kits come with tools like axes, pry bars, and cutting tools.
“We can breach that classroom or that door as quickly as possible to get in and stop or neutralize a threat,” said Sheriff Mueller.
Sheriff Mueller said these kits need to be with all deputies, including their school resource officers.
“We want to take these breaching kits and we want to put those in the hands of all our SROs, as well as our other officers who are out patrolling during school hours. And we’re actually going to try to place them in all the schools,” he said.
He said their SWAT team has had these kits for years and used them to save valuable time.
“Tragically, because after what we saw in Texas, we can’t sit back and wait 30 minutes to an hour plus for breaching to arrive on the scene,” said the Sheriff.
He said law enforcement agencies across the country are trying to get their hands on these kits. Which is jacking up the price. Sheriff Mueller said they can cost anywhere from $650-800 per kit.
“So, we’re looking at piecing these out from our local Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and buying the individual pieces and we think we can save a little bit of money by buying these pieces individually, versus a kit,” he said.
Their next step is finding the money.
“We want to work with our county council, our city council, and our school district to come up with funding,” said Sheriff Mueller.
He said one way or another, they will get these kits into their schools, including turning to the community to help with funding.
“We want parents to have confidence in law enforcement, that we’re going to protect their children and we’re going to protect them at all costs,” he said.
Sheriff Mueller said their goal is to get these kits inside the schools in the next 60 days.