Alexandria City Public Schools approve use of metal detectors in schools

A new pilot program will use metal detectors in Alexandria schools in an effort to try and make schools safer for students and teachers.

In a unanimous vote, Alexandria City Public School leaders say metal detectors will be installed at both Alexandria City High School campuses, and two middle schools campuses, next months.

After putting out the proposal to the community last month, school board members received widespread support. FOX 5’s Melanie Alnwick says 85% of more than 4,300 people who responded were in favor of the plan.

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"Its our belief this will act as a deterrent for weapons to make their way onto the school grounds, and in turn provide a more confident and safe learning environment for students and administrators," said Jim Dillon who spoke on behalf of the Alexandria gang prevention community task force.

The screeners are smaller and less intrusive than older equipment. Students can walk through the doors as they normally do and a positive alert would require a secondary screening. Schools would also have mobile units that could be used for athletics and other large events.

Alnwick says the affixed systems cost $60,000 each and the mobile systems cost $13,000. After training, the equipment would become active in May.