HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WKRN) — The Christian County Board of Education just voted in favor of a school safety project.
Almost $810,000 will go toward the purchase of a weapons detection system in three high schools.
The devices will be put into Christian County High School, Hopkinsville High School, and Bluegrass Learning Academy.
“We’ve been doing random searches here for the last two school years, and we just felt like this is the next move forward,” said Josh Hunt, Assistant Superintendent of Operations at Christian County Public Schools.
Just last week, a Hopkinsville High School student brought a gun into a classroom.
“It was really scary and we were on lockdown for quite a while. Just the thought of knowing what could’ve happened and how it was prevented really did kind of give me a little bit of a scare, but knowing that the steps were taken really helped the situation as well,” said Mary-Ella Brown, a senior at Hopkinsville High School.
The board decided something needed to be done to prevent this from happening again.
“We had to lock our building down. After a discussion with that, and just some other incidents that nothing major resulted in any injuries or anything, we just felt like it was time to move on that,” Hunt said.
Brown believes the new system would make students, including herself, feel much safer.
“I think it’s a good first step in providing more of a safer environment, so people do feel more comfortable to come to school. Because that is, for a lot of people, a safe place and to put in those weapon detectors, it does make it more of a safe place as well,” Brown said.
Christian County Public Schools said they’ve had two incidents where weapons were brought onto campuses in the last two years.
Now, they are the first school district in the area to implement a weapons detection system in their schools.
“The system will be very much something that doesn’t crowd the hallways; we’ll be allowed to have our normal entrances. The biggest changes for us at some of those high schools is making sure everyone comes through those entry points, and us making sure that they don’t bypass those entry points,” Hunt said.
They’ll place the devices at three entry points for the two high school campuses, and one device at their alternative school campus.
Hunt said the device will be very similar to the detectors that you’ve seen going into a Titans game.
“We’ll be able to move them to the gym for sporting events, to the stadium for football games, or a baseball field if we want to move them out there. They are portable, easy to use, and that was another thing we were looking for – what would fit best here at Christian County,” Hunt said.
News 2 reached out to several Middle Tennessee school systems, who said this technology is not being used at their schools.
Hunt hopes the weapons detection systems will be fully operational in the next five to six weeks, possibly even sooner.