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Shooting Makes Home Day Cares Evaluate Safety

September 21, 2012, 9:59 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Shooting Makes Home Day Cares Evaluate Safety

Sioux Falls in-home day care providers are thinking about safety following last week's shooting at Cost Cutters.

Despite a protection order, 38-year-old Tyrone Smith took his two children from day care at gunpoint and tied up the provider with zip ties before he went to Cost Cutters where his girlfriend worked. When he got to the salon he shot and killed manager Amanda Connors before turning the gun on himself.

In-home day care provider Tammy Remillard says the events that unfolded last week made her think about the safety of her own home.

"It was a domestic violence issue. It wasn't a daycare issue. He'd have gone wherever his kids were, but it does make you think about being home with kids and you're vulnerable," Remillard said.

That's why she has now installed a lock with a keypad on the door to her home. The door is always locked, but yet she can give parents a code to access the house at any time. If there is a situation where she doesn't feel safe she can change the code.

"I can deactivate it. In that case the gal had a protection order against him; I can change the code or deactivate the parents’ code. It locks automatically when you go back out," Remillard said.

While Remillard has never had a problem with any of her parents and doesn't anticipate one, she says its better to be safe because she is not just trying to protect herself but the children that she cares for every day.

"It's just always better to be safe. So, you spend $100 on a lock it's well worth it if you prevent a problem," Remillard said.

Because in a business that is so personal, having a sense of security is priceless.

"It's really personal. You're in my house and I'm giving you access to my life so it's very personal," Remillard said.

Because of the recent safety concerns the Sioux Empire Child Care Network has scheduled a workshop on October 16 for home day care providers to talk about domestic violence, home safety, and response plans.

The Sioux Falls SWAT Team and the Compass Center, which helps domestic violence victims, will lead the presentation at the Avera Education Center.

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