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District in Hickory, N.C., installs weapons detection systems at all its schools

Feb. 9, 2023
The systems are programmed to detect shapes of weaponry and quantities of certain materials that could amount to a concealed weapon.

 The Hickory (N.C.) school district is spending $350,000 to install weapons detection systems on its campuses.

The Hickory Daily Record reports that the district has acquired 19 detectors, which will be deployed at every school in the district.

The weapons detection systems are programmed to detect shapes of weaponry and quantities of certain materials that could amount to a concealed weapon. They are not standard metal detectors but are capable of detecting metal.    

The district will conduct trial runs with the detectors so school staffs can learn to operate the new gear, Superintendent Bryan Taylor said. Starting Feb. 20, all middle and high school students, staff and visitors will pass through the detectors before entering any school building in the district.

The detectors are two towers that stand about 6 feet tall. The towers have lights on top that turn red when a weapon is detected.

District Director of Student Services Angela Simmons said the detectors will be placed outside some schools, so that an individual cannot enter the building until they have cleared the detectors.

In schools where that is not an option because of the building layout, Simmons said individuals entering the building will still have no access to school hallways until they clear the detectors. Instead, they will enter the building and stay within a security vestibule until it is determined they are unarmed. 

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