Arkansas Business reports that state Sen. Jason Rapert, who recently got out of the securities business and announced a move into preaching, has been appointed CEO of a company that sells a device meant to lock doors, particularly in schools, in case of an active shooter. Safety officials have criticized such devices, but legislative pressure has cleared its use over objections in Arkansas
“I am honored to be asked to take this successful Arkansas startup beyond our borders to protect innocent lives in schools, colleges and churches across the country,” he said in a news release. “The inventors of ULockIt had the foresight to address a pressing need and I am very proud to stand with them.”
Rapert’s news release didn’t mention some controversy associated with ULockIt, which had been led previously by Dan Hogan, a Conway police officer.
First of all, there was testimony from the Arkansas fire marshal against a legislated change in the state fire code that opened the door to sale of the device to Arkansas schools. Rapert didn’t vote because he had an investment in the company, but his friends in the legislature (led by Sen. Jon Woods) toted the measure home for Rapert.
Several months later came questions from safety experts in Ohio about such classroom barricade devices.
Those opposed to the devices say they’re complicated to install under stress and could lead to dangerous unintended consequences — including blocking authorities from an attacker inside a classroom.
“Unlisted, unlabeled, and untested,” said a July report by Ohio’s building codes board critical of the devices. Nevertheless, the board was forced to update its codes to allow the devices after lawmakers approved them this summer following testimony from manufacturers and parents of school children.
Rapert believes his company’s device is the best operating on the market. It has been approved for use in other states.
Rapert’s work on this product is in addition to his leadership of Holy Ghost Ministries, whose activities include a retreat center aimed at providing, among others, institutes for legislative leaders.
UPDATE: ULockIt provided this statement about our item:
ULockIt Security strives to help make America safer one door at a time. It is an unfortunate fact that that educators and school resource officers must prepare for active shooter situations in order to protect school children. Numerous security experts, including the ALICE Training Institute, recommend barricading a door to protect children in active shooter situations. ALICE Training is used by numerous Arkansas schools to conduct the mandatory active shooter training required by Arkansas law.
ANY barricade of a door potentially violates the fire code, even if the door is barricaded by a teacher shoving her desk against the door to save the lives of students. Two different security risks (fire and active shooter) have contradictory safety protocols. To resolve this conflict, the Arkansas legislature enacted a provision to permit the use of door barricades only during active shooter situations without violation of the fire code. Use of a door barricade was not mandated by the law. The law that was passed applies the same to a teacher’s desk or the uLockit security device. Just as in Ohio, many states around the country are taking steps to allow teachers to better protect the lives of students by allowing barricade devices to be used in active shooter situations.
Because the recommended response to active shooter situations according to training mandated by Arkansas law (barricading the classroom door) was possibly against the fire code, legislation was passed. The suggestion that the law was changed for an improper purpose is simplistic, ignorant of the facts and purposely misleading.
ULockIt strives to help innocent Americans better protect themselves from the clear and present danger of active shooter threats. We are proud that in just over one year on the market 55 schools, 3 colleges, 2 courthouses and other organizations in 8 different states have purchased our door barricade device. When seconds count, our door barricade device buys precious time needed for first responders to respond and neutralize an active shooter. We are proud to be providing new technology to help protect innocent school children and teachers from this unfortunate reality.
ULockIt Security Devices, LLC was formed in July 2014 as an Arkansas Limited Liability Company in Conway, Arkansas. The ULockIt security lockdown device (SLD) is a patent-pending (#14156107) creation of Conway Police Officer Daniel Hogan and middle school administrator Wesley Scroggin. For more information on the ULockIt SLD or to order it for your home, school, or church, please visit www.ULockItSecurity.com or call 1-800-217-4953.