Putnam City Schools To Use New Weapon Detection System At High Schools

Putnam City Schools is using a new weapon detection system that's based on the mass and shape of metal. It sets off an alarm when it detects guns or knives and allows normal items like keys or jewelry to go through without a problem.

Saturday, January 28th 2023, 10:45 pm


Putnam City Schools rolled out a new weapon detection system they believe will make its high schools safer. The district used the new system during Putnam City North’s home basketball game against Choctaw on Thursday. Before visitors could enter the gym, they had to walk through the weapon detection system.

“We need it,” said Bennie Brown, a grandparent of a Putnam City student-athlete. “With all of the things that have happened so far, we've gotta beef up our security, unfortunately, but it is needed.”

The new weapon detection system is an added safety measure that will be used inside the district’s high schools and other events. It can detect weapons concealed on a person or inside their bags and purses. However, it doesn’t work like a traditional metal detector, it’s based on the metal’s mass and shape.

“Someone who walks through with something that's the mass of a gun or a large knife that will set off those detectors,” said Chief Mark Stout with the Putnam City Schools Police Department.

Smaller items like keys or jewelry should go through without a problem.

“We feel like this is the best option because it keeps people moving rather than having to stop and search bags and search people,” Chief Stout said.

“I think it's a great thing to have, to add that extra security for school,” added parent Carly Kincaid. “It was a very easy process. It put an ease to my mind.”

Starting Tuesday, students will start their day passing through the new detection system at the main entrances of each high school.

“We want to get as many as we can as they come in the main entrances from the bus drop-offs to the main entrances from the parking lots,” said Chief Stout.

“The kids should go to school to learn, not to be threatened or worrying about somebody coming in with a gun,” added Janice Brown, a grandparent.

The district also hopes the new system will act as a deterrent.

“If we stop one gun from getting into our schools, then we've accomplished our mission,” said Chief Stout.

At the end of this school year, the district will evaluate the system to possibly expand it into its middle and elementary schools. They also plan to use it this fall during home football games.


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