INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A weapons detection system was installed at Franklin Central High School. Hundreds of students walked through it for the first time on Thursday morning.
According to the company who installed the system, Entry Shield, Franklin Central High School is the first school in Indiana to install this machine.
School officials said it is not a metal detector. According to Dr. Kent Pettet, the Chief People Officer for Franklin Township Community School Corporation, police get an immediate notification if the machine detects a threat. A message gets sent to officers on a cell phone app.
“Unfortunately in the world we live in, the safety concerns continue to arise,” he said.
The weapons detector does not need to be supervised at all. The district said that saves them time, money and resources.
Right now, they are testing out the machine. There is only one on the high school’s campus. Dr. Pettet said the hope is to put a weapons detection system at every main entrance at Franklin Central High School. They also want to put the detector in the middle schools and elementary schools.
“You would like to think it is not going to happen to the school where your kids go but there is always that chance that it can,” said Nancy Brown, a parent of a Franklin Central High School student.
Brown’s son is a sophomore. She wants her kids to feel safe when they are at school.
“Just knowing that they have this here, gives me a little extra peace of mind,” she said.
Before Thursday, the school district relied on Jax, a trained gun dog, to sniff out firearms.
“Sometimes the dog does not find everything. We have big buildings,” said Tony Rizzi, a police officer for the school district.
Officer Rizzi believes the investment is worth it. The district was able to purchase the weapons detection system through a grant. The whole system costs $35,000.
“To have this system at every door just furthers the efforts of trying to keep those weapons out of the school,” officer Rizzi said.
So far in August, there were at least 5 gun incidents on or near school grounds in Central Indiana.
“It goes to show we are living in the world right now when we can never be too safe,”
The president of Entry Shield said an engineer in Fort Wayne and a software developer in Indianapolis helped create the app police officers use to get the notification.