Local school resource officer increases security with new invention

HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. — The school resource officer at Paris Elementary School has invented a new locking mechanism to help make the school safer.

According to Principal Chip Gray, the whole process started when he and Sgt. Eddie Crosser, a Henry County deputy and school resource officer, were reviewing their current emergency plan.

“We were very happy with the plan. However, there was one thing that we felt like could be improved, and that was one of the steps in our current lockdown situation,” Gray said.

Gray said that with most schools across the state, teachers are required to find their key, go out in the hallway to lock the doors, because they can’t from the inside, all before taking care of their kids. They looked at options and didn’t see any on the market that met the fire code.

Sgt. Crosser and Gray went with option B. “Option B was to invent something,” Gray added.

The Crosser Stop Lock was invented.

The Crosser Stop Lock was specifically designed for Paris Elementary, but once the Fire Marshal came out to inspect it, he recommend they patent it and said it would be beneficial to other schools.

Sgt. Crosser and Gray have applied and received their provisional patent. They then contacted the Fire Marshal and regional agent at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They were impressed.

The goal was simple.

“Take one motion to lock the door, be able to scan the hallway, make sure there were no unattended children, shut the door and secure it in one second,” Sgt. Crosser said.

The locking mechanism is composed of three metal parts that are already secured to the door, that way minimal preparation is required in an active situation.

Sgt. Crosser says that in most cases in recent tragedies, had they had just one more second, the outcome may have been changed.

“… if they had one more second, if that person had one more second, could that have changed the outcome of their life? We feel like it can, and we are going to give them that second. That is what we want to do,” Sgt. Crosser said.

“This is a magnificent piece of equipment that Sgt. Crosser has invented, and we hope it keeps the schools safe,” Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said. “Anything that we can utilize to keep schools safe, that is what we want to do. Coming from a school resource officer and coming from a Henry County deputy, we’re just that much more prouder of it.”

The locks are safe for any door not fire rated and approved.

Paris Elementary currently has 10 of the new locks assembled on their doors. The next step is to assemble them on all doors in the school, then in the rest of the schools in the Paris Special School District.

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