Schools across Ward County will be getting lock boxes outside their entry doors to provide quick access to law enforcement officers in an emergency.
The lock boxes will contain keys to the building.
All schools in the county will be getting the boxes thanks to a grant from the US Homeland Security Department.
Captain Bob Barnard of the Ward County Sheriff's Department told members of the county commission that training exercises have demonstrated to him the importance of being able to gain quick entry to a school that's in crisis.
(Capt. Bob Barnard, Ward County Sheriff's Department) "Every school with a different school board has a different policy about who can get in, when you can get in, how it's going to be locked down. So when this grant became available it was our suggestion that we try to get them all on board to get a box so law enforcement and fire and rescue and ambulance would have a key to that local school so you could make entry and you weren't dependent on having someone come to the door and let you in when there was a bad situation."
Commissioners voted to agree to accept the grant, which will require the county to pay about one-quarter of the costs.