CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Cherokee County is looking at ways to improve safety in all of its schools.
They’re placing weapon detection systems in every building. Some schools, like the high schools, will have multiple.
School officials said students, staff and visitors will all have to go through the systems. 35 of them will be placed throughout the schools in the district.
“Our middle and highs will have multiple in their schools. So, every entry point, in those schools, where our students and visitors come in will have a system in place,” said Todd Hughes with Cherokee County Schools.
Older students will walk through them.
“All our middle and high school students will go through these devices,” Hughes explained. “So, at our elementary schools, we will not have those students, as of now, go through those devices.”
With faculty watching closely as school resource officers patrol the halls. Hughes said visitors to the schools will also go through the detectors.
“We will send them through and as long as they’re no alerts. If there is someone that alerts, we will send them to secondary search areas,” he said.
Sheriff Steve Mueller said the district is being proactive.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re having to do that, first and foremost. But, as you see what’s happening around our country, it is something necessary,” said Sheriff Mueller.
It’s a way to try and prevent any dangers where children learn.
“At the end of the day, this gives that mom and dad, the grandparents, whoever drops that child off for school everyday, as they pull away from the school, they should feel comfortable knowing that the school district and law enforcement is doing everything possible to protect their child,” said the Sheriff.
It’s a vital tool in the district’s toolbelt to help keep those inside safe.
“It’s not just something that’s looking for bulk metal, it has different ways that it’s looking for different items,” said Hughes.
The equipment costs over half a million dollars, with funds coming from the county’s Capital Funding Project.
“That’s going to be a deterrent for a student wanting to bring a weapon to school and it’s also going to serve as a deterrent for any adult who’s going to the school, for any type of business, to make sure they don’t have a weapon on them,” said Sheriff Mueller.
The portable systems will also be used at different events, like sporting events. Hughes said the district plans to have them inside their schools sometime in September.