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Wichita (Kan.) district gets $922,000 grant to bolster security

State funds will enable district to upgrade locks, install more security cameras, and acquire more metal detectors.

The Wichita (Kan.) school district has received a $922,600 state grant plans to bolster security on its campuses.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the district will upgrade classroom door locks, add cameras, and acquire more metal detectors and defibrillator devices.

Schools also will hold crisis drills at least once a month to meet a new state requirement.

Terri Moses, Wichita’s director of safety services, says the upgrades are in response to the shooting attack earlier this year at a Parkland, Fla., school, as well as other incidents.

Wichita is focusing its grant money on four areas:

  • Installing locking mechanisms on classroom doors that can be locked from inside.
  • Upgrading security cameras at school entrances and other areas.
  • Placing an automated external defibrillator device in every district building.
  • Buying eight metal detectors, which primarily are used at football and basketball games and other events. The district owns 25 metal detectors, Moses says, but many are out-of-date and no longer usable.

Beginning this fall, Kansas schools will be required to conduct nine crisis drills each year — about one a month — to practice scenarios such as armed intruders, gas leaks, building damage, missing students or police activity in the area, Moses says.

Five years ago, the Wichita district spent about $3 million to beef up school security by installing new high-definition cameras, keyless-entry doors and a revamped dispatch center.

Since then, it has contracted with a new security system that checks visitors against a database of sex offenders and adopted the “Run, Hide, Fight” response plan for dealing with an armed intruder.

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