By Andrea Jackson / The Messenger of Adrian, Missouri / 4 March 2016
Last week, a threatening letter found in the bathroom at Appleton City schools led the school and police to treat it as a real threat, and took steps for the safety of all. The threat was later deemed not credible.
Could any safety device or product completely prevent an active shooter from staging a mass shooting? Probably not, but two local designers have created a viable defense mechanism for schools and other buildings with their invention, Guardian Angel.
Nevada school teacher Lance Sargent and Justin Osburn, General Manager of Max Motors in Nevada (“serial entrepreneur” and resident of Butler) received a provisional patent on Dec. 30, 2015 for Guardian Angel. The official launch is planned for mid-March.
How does it work? What does it do?
“The Guardian Angel secures doors and slows, stops or thwarts active shooters from gaining entry into a room through an interior door,’ Osburn explained. ‘We have a unit that works on any door. It doesn’t matter if there is glass, if the door swings in or out, or what type of lock or door handle is on the door – the Guardian Angel works on every interior door.”
Manufactured with high strength steel and other components, Sargent and Osburn have put the product through the paces, and are currently on their 7th generation prototype.
Last weekend, 50 volunteers participated in an active-shooter simulation at Butler R-V Elementary, which has one device installed. Participants in the simulation included a number of staff members from the Bates County Sheriff’s Dept., Bates County Schools, and Nevada Schools. During the simulation, footage was shot for a commercial to air on the website devoted to the product, www.angelonwatch.com. That website is scheduled to go live on March 10, 2016.
“This product is about defending our lives and the lives of children, and that is why we are selecting the highest quality components without compromising affordability,” said Osburn. “In test runs, we have literally pulled and kicked doors to simulate real world situations, and the Guardian Angel just doesn’t budge.”
Lance Sargent was inspired to design Guardian Angel late last year after attending an active-shooter training program for schools.
“We have moved swiftly, and are excited to go to market in the next several weeks,” Osburn said.
Presentations to school superintendents, law enforcement, bored patrol and others have resulted in positive feedback and a few endorsements, including one from Frank Dahman, Superintendent for Harrisonville schools.
Lance Sargent says the best feedback he’ heard came from Dahman, who said, “For the price of a text book we can save lives.”
“It’s funny how so many schools don’t have any sort of device to keep their teachers and students from an active shooter,” Sargent said. “I wish I could make these terrible events never happen, but I’m glad I have a part in making a device that gives young people time and protection. I think this is why we called it the Guardian Angel.”
Connect with Sargent and Osburn through Facebook: www.facebook.com/angelonwatch