Trumbull Co. schools install simple device to stop intruders

The Bolo Stick, invented by a former Howland police officer, can withstand over two tons of force and prevent a potential shooter from breaking down doors

bolo stick


WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A local invention, called the Bolo Stick, stops intruders from breaking into schools, making parents feel more at ease as they send their kids off to start a new year.

School shootings have become another thing for parents to worry about, and all that a potential shooter needs is physical strength and a driven mindset to break down a door.

“It’s definitely something that has changed the atmosphere in education over the last decade,” said Warren City Superintendent Steve Chiaro.

In April, Ohio legalized barricade devices in schools and ten Trumbull County districts are jumping on board to provide extra protection with the Bolo Stick.

Former Howland police officer Bill Barna invented the device that aims to stop intruders from getting into schools by withstanding over two tons of force.

Warren G. Harding High School teacher Carol Wilson says that going to work is more nerve-racking after hearing about shootings every day. She thinks this invention will help students and staff feel a lot safer.

“It’s just unfortunate that in this day and age there is more conflict, there is more strife, so school is definitely the place we want to keep your kids as safe as possible,” Wilson said.

The administration at Harding says they already have good safety features in place, such as strong locks on their doors, but the Bolo Stick will add an extra level of protection.

“It’s easy to use, it’s accessible and it’s something that can be done relatively quickly with a little bit of training,” said Harding Principal Dante Capers.

Warren City Schools is getting ready to install over 400 Bolo Stick units. Out of the ten districts in the county that are installing them, six ordered them in just the last two months.

“It gives you an extra sense of security with your kids. These days you’re so unsure about everything, every little extra protection is great,” said Tabitha McHan, a parent.

Inventor Bill Barna was not available for an interview Wednesday, but said this is what his creation was designed for and is glad several districts are putting it to use.

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