CMS for the installation of body scanners, weapon detectors in high schools

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Seven high schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg will soon install body scanning equipment to check students for weapons and weapons.

Eventually, officials say, all CMS high schools will have viewing equipment that is already in use in at least two schools in South Carolina and used at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

The CMS, which buys body scanners, says the equipment works faster than a traditional metal detector, does not require users to empty their pockets or bags, and has technology to send a visual signal to officials in case of a suspicious or dangerous object. manifested.

In four of the seven schools that first received new equipment, in August these campuses saw two or more guns, part of the record high number of firearms registered in the county this school year. Six other schools, including three that have not yet received body scanners – Myers Park, South Mack and West Mack – reported one weapon each on campus last semester.

New equipment will be installed in the following schools:

Mallard Creek High

High Garinger

Harding University

Western Charlotte High

High North Mecklenburg

Julius Chambers High

Hopewell High

Superintendent Ernest Winston told council members on Tuesday that the county had completed a contract for a body scanner and officials were awaiting the signing of documents. He said the scanners should be delivered within 30 days and will be deployed in stages.

Weapon detectors in schools

Patrick Smith, assistant chief of the district’s communications department, said Wednesday that the body scanner that will use the CMS “is neither a metal detector nor a wand.” This is the exact system used at Bank of America Stadium, he said.

“Go through and the scanner will detect weapons and other suspicious items,” Smith said, adding, “We will report the details of the scanners and provide information to families, students and staff when the equipment arrives will be installed and implemented. ».

The county is working with Evolv Technology for body scanners, a CMS official confirmed Wednesday. Evolv Technology boasts a “contactless security check that ensures security without compromising visitors,” the website said.

Evolv officials say their technology is not a metal detector.

“Unlike traditional metal detectors, Evolv Express uses advanced touch technology and artificial intelligence to test guests as they walk at a natural pace – without stopping and without handing over their belongings,” said Fitzgerald Bart, Evolv’s director of corporate communications. “The Express offers a two-lane free-flow system that works ten times faster than traditional metal detectors, alerting operators to the presence of weapons while ignoring harmless personal items such as cell phones, keys and coins.”

Bart said that when the system detects a potential threat, a real-time alarm shows guards where the potential threat is on the person or in his bag. Physical contact is minimal and allows school staff to act quickly and efficiently.

Clean backpacks in CMS

Pending body scanners, CMS conducted 60 random safety surveys in middle and high schools this school year. Winston said no firearms were found during those searches, but vapes, stun guns, pepper spray and over-the-counter drugs were found.

Also this week, the county announced that students at Hopewell High School and Cochrane Academy College will be the first to try transparent backpacks.

Transparent backpacks are a part a multi-layered approach that Winston implements in response to security challenges on CMS campuses. This was announced on Wednesday by Observer Eddie Perez, CMS media relations specialist 25 firearms were found on campuses this school year. Other high schools in the area will also receive backpacks, and more widespread introduction is expected in the spring.

“We met with high school students, and one of the feedback we’ve received is that students (want) to actually touch, feel and see what transparent backpacks look like,” Winston said at a board meeting on Tuesday.

In December, the district purchased 46,000 transparent backpacks for a total of $ 441,791.

Security tips and staff

In January, CMS began training on The “Say Something” anonymous reporting system. for grades 6-12. It is launched in all district, middle and high schools in the district, K-8. The program is designed to help prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities by teaching students and adults how to recognize alarming signs and act immediately by notifying trusted adults or giving an anonymous tip.

Winston said officials have so far received 500 tips from middle and high school students through the app.

The county also began hiring 53 campus security staff.

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CMS for the installation of body scanners, weapon detectors in high schools

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