Huntsville City Schools Invests $2.9 Million in Weapons Detection Technology
The systems will be rotated among locations across the district and will be managed by the Huntsville City Schools’ security team.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The implementation of a $2.86 million investment in weapons detection technology is underway at Huntsville City Schools (HCS).
The decision to invest in the technology was made following an increase in weapons being brought on campuses. Last year, three students brought guns to school and there were 80 incidents where students were in possession of another type of unspecified weapon, reports AL.com. Just last month, three students at Huntsville schools were found with guns.
Since December, the district has deployed Evolv Technology’s weapons detection screening systems in several schools and at athletic events, according to a Jan. 25 press release. The systems will be rotated among locations across the district, which is made up of 36 schools, and will be managed by members of the HCS security team.
“We want students, staff members, and families to come to our campuses with peace of mind in order to focus on our core business of teaching and learning,” said HCS Superintendent Christie Finley. “Much like how we are used to security protocols at airports, concerts, and sporting events, we are taking the same approach in our schools. We ask families for their support in this effort as the most effective weapon detection occurs before students ever set foot on campus.”
During a Jan. 18 press conference, Finley said the proliferation of guns is “not a Huntsville issue, not necessarily a community issue, it is a societal issue.” In its press release, the district asked families to check backpacks before students leave for school every day “to ensure they do not have any items that could present potential safety risks.”
The district sent five vendors an invitation to bid on Nov. 2. Mobile Communications America of Huntsville, a partner company of Evolv, was the only company to respond. On Nov. 15, the district’s procurement director sent a memo to Finley advising her to accept the nearly $3 million bid. The contract was later finalized following a December school board meeting.
HCS communications director Craig Williams said an important factor in selecting these systems “is the efficient screening process versus traditional metal detectors.” Evolv says its technology works 10 times faster than metal detectors and allows people to move through without forming a line or stopping to remove backpacks or objects from pockets.
HCS is the first known school system in Alabama to install the system.
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