Hancock County schools to deploy advanced gun detectors in December
HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A new security measure is being deployed at both Hancock County Middle and High School to prevent guns from getting inside the campus.
The school district went through training on Thursday to operate the Open Gate gun detectors. Unlike traditional metal detectors, these devices scan for dense metal that is found in guns. It will not alarm when car keys, phones, or other objects pass through, which means that students will not have to empty their pockets when passing through the scanner.
“This probably does the least amount of invasion of privacy where kids don’t have to unload their backpacks, they don’t have to take off their shoes and empty their pockets. This respects their privacy but also ensures their safety,” said Superintendent Rhett Ladner. “NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball all use these. If you go to the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, they have these. It allows very quick entrance and very quick exits.”
Hancock County Sheriff’s Office Captain of Operations Edward Walley attended the training class. He works closely with the school district to coordinate security measures at the schools. He points to the proactive nature of the gun detectors as a major leg up on protecting students and teachers.
“It’s a very important, proactive response. It’s a faster response to initiate a situation instead of having to deal with that situation while school started. Implementing this system before kids get into school can actually stop and prevent things from happening while in the school. It’s another deterrent and it helps us do our jobs,” he said. “At the end of the day, you have a safer area and place for your children to get educated. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about: their safety and education.”
The gun detectors will be installed at the schools in December, with plans to also use the devices during football games and major school events.
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