At Huntsville City Schools, a $2.86 million investment in technology to find weapons is being put into place (HCS). The decision to spend money on technology was made because more and more people were bringing guns to school.
AL.com says that three students brought guns to school last year, and there were 80 cases where students had other weapons that were not specified. Just last month, guns were found on three Huntsville school kids.
A press release from January 25 says that the district has been using Evolv Technology’s weapons detection screening systems in a few schools and at sports events since December. The plans will be moved around the 36 schools by members of the HCS security team.
HCS Superintendent Christie Finley said,
“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,” “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.”
Finley said at a press conference on January 18 that the spread 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.”
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On Nov. 2, the district sent invitations to bid to five vendors. The only company to respond was Mobile Communications America of Huntsville, a partner company of Evolv. On November 15, the district’s purchasing director sent Finley a memo telling her to accept the bid for almost $3 million.
After that, the contract was finalized at a meeting of the school board in December. Craig Williams, in charge of communications for HCS, said that “is the efficient screening process versus traditional metal detectors.”
This was a big reason why these systems were chosen. Evolv says its technology is 10 times faster than metal detectors and lets people move through without waiting in line or stopping to take things out of their pockets or backpacks.
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