18 Tips for Using Metal Detectors Effectively

Metal detection is a hot topic of debate among school, university and healthcare facility protection pros. Many want the weapons confiscation, deterrence and perception of safety that the deployment of metal detectors provides. That said, the costs, concerns about metal detectors sending the wrong message and human resources needed to operate these machines can pose challenges for some organizations.

The decision to adopt this type of weapons screening solution should be made on a case-by-case basis.

Should your campus determine that metal detection is right for you, be sure to adopt the following best practices provided by the experts Campus Safety has featured in our many articles throughout the years:

For K-12 schools, conduct searches randomly so students don’t know when they will be checked for weapons. Schools might consider randomly drawing classroom numbers and search every student in a selected classroom. For special events, try an alternating sequence of random selection.
For high-risk areas, deploy two checkpoints: The first checkpoint screens everyone and the second is a surprise check that could be random or involve everyone.Develop a secondary screening procedure for individuals who set off the initial detector. Usually, the secondary screening procedure includes hand-held metal detectors.Use hand-held metal detectors as primary screening for individuals with implants, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and walkers, or for guests who are unable or unwilling to walk through the walk-through metal detector.Consider screening bags with an x-ray machine.Deploy good access control throughout campus so a weapons violator can’t dodge an inspection point by going around the building and handing the weapons to someone through an open window or other door.Deploy an armed officer to protect the security personnel operating the metal detection checkpoint.Train officers, administrators, faculty and clinicians on how to detect a weapon with visual screening.Place the detector in a location where it will operate properly and not experience interference from other equipment.Be certain the detector is calibrated correctly, including every time a walkthrough detector is moved.Identify the three or four threat objects most likely to be encountered and then have the metal detector vendor re-tune the walkthrough device’s sensitivity.
Determine which objects will be allowed inside the venue. Not all items that a detector finds are threats, such as pens, keys and coins. The portal’s sensitivity levels can be adjusted to accommodate these items.The screening process should be fast. Be very mindful of throughput so that students, patients and visitors can get to their classes and appointments on time.For athletic events, concerts or other events at large stadiums, consider adopting a clear bag policy. The bags should be limited in size, and larger purses, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, computer bags and luggage should be prohibited. Adoption of this policy should help speed up the screening process.Consider providing an amnesty box so students, parents, patients and visitors can voluntarily dispose of illegal or prohibited items, such as illegal drugs and weapons. If adopting this approach, be sure to develop appropriate property management policies so that legal but prohibited items can be returned to their owners once they leave your facility.Have officers frequently check the areas (such as bushes) where weapons can be hidden that are outside the checkpoint to see if weapons or other illegal items have been dumped.Post signs explaining your weapons screening policy and what items are prohibited or illegal.Provide security/police officers with adequate and appropriate training on how to use metal detectors, as well as the policies supporting your weapons screening program.

The post 18 Tips for Using Metal Detectors Effectively appeared first on Campus Safety Magazine.

Original author: CS Staff

Georgia SRO Saves 6th Grader Choking on Bottle Cap

A school resource officer is being recognized for saving the life of a choking student.

SRO Duane Smith was on duty at Red Top Middle School in Emerson. Ga., when 11-year-old Ethan Hamrick began choking on a water bottle cap during lunch on Dec. 3, The Daily Tribune reports.

Hamrick and classmate Rudra Parmar were sitting together at lunch when Hamrick began choking.

“I did not see him swallow the cap, but when I turned toward him, I saw him choking, and he said, ‘Go grab the teacher. I think I’m choking,'” said Rudra. “I went to the teacher table and said, ‘Ethan is choking.’ Then I went back to the table and got out of the way for the resource officer.”

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22 Accidental Shootings on School Grounds Since 2012, AP Finds

New research released by the Associated Press found 1,422 unintentional shootings by police officers at 258 agencies since 2012, creating additional dialogue around the topics of placing armed officers in schools and arming teachers.

Of the 1,422 unintentional shootings, 22 occurred on K-12 or college campuses, according to the exclusive findings. Among the injured were officers, teachers and students.

The incidents included negligent discharges while officers chased or arrested suspects, taught gun safety classes, or attended school events while off-duty, among other instances. Of the 22 campus shootings, six involved officers responding to reports of active shooters. While the data includes a wide range of circumstances and both officers and teachers, it is raising questions about whether more guns in schools help keep students safe.

At least 10 states have passed laws allowing employees to carry firearms on K-12 school grounds, according to data from the Giffords Law Center. In addition, 19 states allow anyone with permission from a school authority to be armed, reports AP News. Other states have prohibited schools from arming teachers, including New York.

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Last Chance to Submit Your 2020 Director of the Year Nominations

It’s that time of year again… time to send in your nominations for the 2020 Campus Safety Director of the Year awards program. If you know a K-12 school, higher education or healthcare facility police chief, security director or emergency manager who goes above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating outstanding leadership skills, ingenuity, selflessness and overall achievement, we encourage you to submit his or her (or your) nomination.


How to Win the Director of the Year Award

Campus Safety magazine (CS) created the Director of the Year awards program 13 years ago to honor the best and brightest executives in hospital, university and school security, law enforcement and emergency management. Since then, the program has highlighted a wide variety of achievements in the campus security community, according to CS Editor-in-Chief Robin Hattersley.

“Those accomplishments include everything from turning around a dysfunctional department, to upgrading emergency communications, to improving Clery or Joint Commission compliance, to adopting a trauma-informed approach to investigating sexual assaults and more,” says Hattersley. “I encourage those considering submitting nominations to review our coverage of past winners and finalists so you can get a good idea of the scope of achievements our Director of the Year program recognizes.”

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Wisconsin Gunman Says Bullying Drove Him to Bring Pellet Guns to School

The Wisconsin student shot by a school resource officer (SRO) after he allegedly pointed a pellet gun at the officer claims he brought two pellet guns to school because he was bullied.

According to criminal charges filed on Monday, the suspect, identified as Tyrone Smith, 18, said he was “tired of being picked on,” reports ABC News. Smith told officers that “he wanted to use the gun to scare” his bullies, so that “other kids would hear about this and be scared.”

Smith is accused of pointing the pellet gun at a classmate’s head in a classroom at Waukesha South High School on December 2. He then allegedly turned the gun on the responding SRO, who shot Smith three times after he refused police demands, reports NBC15.

“The suspect would not remove his hands from his pocket and continued to ignore officers’ commands,” Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said. “The suspect removed his handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the officers.”

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Identifying School Safety Gaps & Selecting the Right Solution

Technology is the key to unifying the safety resources and protocols school districts use to keep students, staff, and communities safe.“Full Scope Safety: A Guide for Identifying School Safety Gaps & Selecting the Right Solution” demonstrates how districts can utilize a digital safety platform to allow schools to become more effective and efficient in their ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.

This guide showcases the critical hot spots that districts needs to consider when building a comprehensive school safety plan, as well as the solutions available for safety challenges. You’ll learn how to:

Streamline emergency alerting communication and responseQuickly and efficiently account for students and staff during a crisisEnsure every staff member has access to critical informationBolster emergency prevention through safety reporting and threat assessmentAnd much more

Download this guide today to learn how to improve your school safety solution.

The post Identifying School Safety Gaps & Selecting the Right Solution appeared first on Campus Safety Magazine.

Original author: CS Staff

Bourne Public Schools Nurses to Be Equipped with Narcan

Nurses in a Cape Cod school district will now carry the opioid-overdose reversal drug, naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan.

The Bourne School Committee unanimously voted Wednesday night to allow nurses at Bourne (Mass.) Public Schools to administer the antidote to anyone suffering an overdose during school hours, including students, staff and visitors, reports South Coast Today.

The decision required a revision to the district’s JLCD policy, which dictates what prescription medications can be administered within the schools.

In-house training will be conducted to teach the four school nurses how to administer Narcan, said Interim Superintendent Perry Davis. They will be directed to contact police and fire once it has been administered. Substitute nurses will also receive training.

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Alabama District Improves Security at 17 Campuses

DeKalb County (Alabama) Schools have partnered with Schneider Electric to install a comprehensive security solution and improve energy efficiency.

The $13 million program will make major improvements to all 17 of the district’s schools, reports WHNT. Improvements will include the installation of secure vestibules at campus entrances, better lighting, keycards, gates, fences, traffic controls, two-way audio to help screen visitors and video surveillance.

Additionally, LED lights, automated HVAC systems, building envelope sealing and water conservation methods will help conserve energy. Energy and operational costs should drop by about 29%, reports WZDX.

The district is paying for the upgrades through a capital recovery and reinvestment program with Schneider Electric that limits the need for outside funding, reports SouthernTorch.

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SRO Accused of Pawning Service Weapon, Bringing Pellet Gun to School

Deputies say a school resource officer (SRO) at Mango Elementary School in Seffner, Florida pawned his school-issued service weapon on several occasions, as well as other security items assigned to him.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced the arrest of SRO Leroy King, 36, on Friday, reports CBS17.

Authorities also say King reported to work with a toy pellet gun, reports Fox13.

During a random inspection, King’s supervisor noticed that the SRO wasn’t wearing a holstered firearm but instead had a pellet gun. The supervisor began to ask questions. After King gave several excuses, he eventually confessed to pawning the firearm, along with six other items assigned to him by the sheriff’s department, including a ballistic vest and weapon-mounted light.

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Registration Now Open for the 7th Annual Campus Safety Conferences

Mark your calendars for this year’s Campus Safety Conferences (CSCs), held this summer in three convenient locations!

These 2 1/2 day, intensive conferences bring together security, public safety, emergency management, administration, facilities, business, and IT professionals responsible for protecting K-12 and higher education campuses and districts.

Our mission is to create an opportunity for all stakeholders to receive time-critical education and training while building peer-to-peer relationships that facilitate year-round engagement, validation, and problem-solving to improve safety and security during these ever-changing and challenging times.

The dates and locations of the events are:

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Great Mills High Plans Remembrances for 1-Year Mark of School Shooting

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Great Mills High School and officials planned several activities to remember the victim and support surviving students.

On Mar. 20, 2018, a school resource officer at Great Mills exchanged gunfire with a 17-year-old student gunman after he shot two other students.

Sixteen-year-old Jaelynn Willey, who police said had previously been in a relationship with the gunman, was shot and killed. Fourteen-year-old Desmond Barnes was also shot but survived his injuries.

Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill confronted the gunman less than a minute after the shooting began. Gaskill fired at him, hitting his gun at the same time the shooter took his own life.

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Spotlight on Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalist Christopher Wynn

Congratulations to Hemet Unified School District Security Director Christopher Wynn for being named one of this year’s Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalists.

Here are some of his notable achievements:

Upgraded and standardized electronic security systems (access control, life safety systems, PAs/intercoms, visitor management, security cameras and phones) throughout the district.To reduce costs, trained maintenance department locksmiths to install the access control system.For electronic system upgrades, utilized the California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS) to take advantage of government pre-negotiated pricing.

The Director of the Year winners and runners up will be announced at Campus Safety Conference West, being held in Las Vegas June 17-19. For more information, visit CampusSafetyConference.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (855) 351-0927.

View his photo gallery.

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Mental Health is a School Safety Priority for Texas Lawmakers

Mental health has taken precedence over gun violence prevention when it comes to preventing mass shootings, Texas legislators say.

After the Santa Fe High School shooting last year, Governor Greg Abbott held a series of discussions focusing around school safety. The results included proposals for more school safety personnel and better mental health care for students.

Abbott named school safety as one of his top priorities for 2019.

On March 5, the Senate cleared a high-profile mental health bill filed by Senator Jane Nelson, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. She told senators that it was her “best shot” at helping students after the deadly shooting, reports the Texas Tribune.

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Corrections Officers Can Become School Police Officers Under This New N.J. Law

In a unanimous vote, a new state law in New Jersey will allow almost all law enforcement personnel under the age of 65 to become armed school police officers, including former correctional officers.

Signed on Monday by Governor Phil Murphy, the law includes retired NJ Transit cops, Port Authority Police, Fish and Wildlife officers, among others, to bolster school security, reports NJ.com.

“They are job-tested and proven in high-pressure situations,” said Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce. “Their presence in schools will make the halls, cafeterias and playgrounds safer.”

Before the law was enacted, districts could hire anyone as an armed guard as long as they have a license to carry a gun and hold an Armed Security Officer credential. While inexpensive, they are not police officers, have no law enforcement authority and have no radio communication with local police.

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Join Us! Attend This Summer’s Campus Safety Conferences

The end of the school year is just around the corner, and I want to remind you to be sure to add one of the Campus Safety Conferences to your summer plans.

This year, we will once again be hosting three events: Campus Safety Conference WEST, which will take place June 17-19 in Las Vegas, Nevada; Campus Safety Conference TEXAS, which will be held in Dallas, Texas, July 21-23; and Campus Safety Conference EAST, which will take place in Charlotte, N.C., August 6-8.

Register by April 15 and save $100.

We have also partnered again with our advisory board and the public safety departments at the University of Southern California, University of North Texas Dallas and Northern Virginia Community College to provide attendees with expert insight on some of the biggest challenges facing institutions of higher education and K-12 campuses today. Those issues include mental health, transportation safety, suicide prevention, emergency plans, lockdown, Clery compliance, tabletop exercises, security technologies, gang violence and more.

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‘Virtual Kidnapping’ Has SoCal Police Alerting Local Schools

Police in Laguna Beach, Calif., have alerted local schools about two ‘virtual kidnap’ cases that took place in the last 24 hours.

The police say victims received calls explaining their daughters had been kidnapped and would remain unharmed if money was wired to a Mexican bank account, reports Fox 11.

“This type of activity is called ‘virtual kidnapping’ and we believe the suspect was able to learn personal information of the victim through unsecured social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.),” Laguna Beach police said in a prepared statement.

The caller’s goal is to get the person on the phone afraid enough to quickly transfer the money before they realize their child is safe. There have not been any reported abductions.

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Spotlight on Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalist Kenna Powell

Congratulations to Providence Day School Director of Safety and Security Kenna Powell for being named one of this year’s Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalists.

Here are some of her notable achievements:

Organized and hosted a North Carolina Independent School Security Summit, bringing in representatives from more than 50 schools.Developed an emergency operations plan, including an annex for after-school activities.Provided safety training programs for all school employees (online, classroom, seminar, exercises, etc.) including CPR, First Aid, Stop the Bleed and Active Survival.

The Director of the Year winners and runners up will be announced at Campus Safety Conference West, being held in Las Vegas June 17-19. For more information, visit CampusSafetyConference.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (855) 351-0927.

View her photo gallery.

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The ‘Roadshow’ Approach to Developing Campus Stakeholder Buy-in

As campus protection professionals, you probably have some great ideas on ways your healthcare facility, institution of higher education or school district can improve security. However, if people aren’t familiar with your security department and the valuable services it provides, you can’t expect your ideas to gain traction, let alone be implemented.

That’s why it’s critical to develop support for your security, public safety and emergency management programs from your stakeholders. Depending on your organization, your stakeholders could be the hospital C-suite, university president, school district superintendent, nursing department, custodial staff, faculty, administrators, residence life, coaching staff, students, parents or even the surrounding community. The list of potential stakeholders, both on and off campus, is practically endless.

At the Great Conversation in Security that took place in Seattle March 4-5, I spoke with Grant County PUB Security Manager Fallon Long about how she was able to successfully garner buy-in for her security department’s initiatives in her former position with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She embarked on what she calls “Roadshows” to not only foster support, but also listen to her organization’s various stakeholders to identify their needs and concerns so her department could address them.

In this interview with Campus Safety, Long describes the roadshow concept and how hospital, school and university protection professionals can apply it to their programs.

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These Calif. Teachers Say the PBIS Discipline Model is Broken

Valley Oak Middle School teachers, part of the Visalia (Calif.) Unified School District, are saying their school’s discipline model is broken.

During a meeting on Thursday, other teachers and parents agreed, calling it a “crisis” in classrooms across the city, reports USA Today.

Visalia, along with many other districts in the state, follows the program Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS), funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

When students act out, they are placed in intervention programs or counseling before suspension or expulsion is recommended.

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Spotlight on Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalist Gus Paidousis

Congratulations to Knox County (Tenn.) Schools Chief/Director of Security Gus Paidousis for being named one of this year’s Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalists.

Here are some of his notable achievements:

Created a physical fitness incentive program to promote, encourage and reward officers who maintain a healthy lifestyle and to minimize sick leave while maximizing performance and service delivery.Improved department professionalism and enhanced its standing with local law enforcement by implementing 20 general orders to guide officers in their duties.Improved the patrol fleet’s quality by closely managing department finances and having a methodical program to surplus older vehicles and acquire newer replacements.

The Director of the Year winners and runners up will be announced at Campus Safety Conference West, being held in Las Vegas June 17-19. For more information, visit CampusSafetyConference.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (855) 351-0927.

View his photo gallery.

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