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New weapons detection systems to be installed at all Columbus high school entrances

These new safety features come at the heels of multiple incidents involving students bringing guns inside the schools.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Schools will be installing new weapons detection systems at all of the district's high schools.

A spokesperson from the district revealed on Friday that they are launching a multi-million dollar package of new safety investments which will place new security systems at the entrance of all high schools.

The new walk-through detector will be unveiled during a press conference at East High School Friday afternoon. The district has not yet said when the systems will be installed at all high schools or provided specific information on the process.

A contract between ByteSpeed LLC, Alliance Technology Group, Evolv Technology and the district reveals the new advanced weapons detection system the schools will be using is Evolv Technology’s Express. Over $3 million was budgeted for the new devices and the lease will last 48 months, according to a board meeting agenda.

Earlier this year, the Columbus City Schools Board of Education approved a plan to use nearly a million dollars from the Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant to buy surveillance and electronic monitoring equipment at 19 schools identified in the General Fund.

These new safety features come at the heels of multiple incidents involving students bringing guns inside the schools.

RELATED: Records show hundreds of violent incidents, guns found at Columbus schools since 2019

Most recently, a 15-year-old boy reportedly brought a loaded handgun into Eastmoor Academy High School which led to the school being placed on an “elevated security level.”

Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, guns were also found at Marion-Franklin High School, East High School and Whetstone High School.

The district began implementing random metal detector screenings at high schools last March. The decision was made in an effort to detect possible weapons, deter students from bringing weapons on campus and to reduce any potential violent incidents.

10 Investigates' Bennett Haeberle dug more into the use of next-generation weapons detection systems used by schools and stadiums and found that it may miss certain items.

A field study conducted in 2021 at Lower.com Field found that Evolv Technology’s Express weapons detection system missed 42% of the knives that were tested. While the system was able to successfully detect most handguns, it missed a micro compact handgun on two walkthroughs.

School district cancels Evolv after fight 

A fight and knife attack last fall at a Utica, New York high school prompted district officials to stop using the Evolv system after they said it failed to detect the knife used in the attack.

“Through an investigation it was determined the Evolv system does not detect metal objects and was not designed to detect knives. (It was) designed only to pick up weapons of mass casualties,” the district’s superintendent said during a November school board meeting.

Evolv Technology executives defended their product and said that they continue to improve it.

Evolv co-founder Anil Chitkara said, “So the Evolv systems detected over 100,000 concealed weapons last year and prevented them from entering prohibited spaces."

When asked if he was aware from clients how many weapons may have been missed by 10 Investigates, he said: “I don’t know.”

You can read the full investigation by clicking here.

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