JCPS board member: Hand-held metal detectors could lead to racia - News, Weather & Sports

JCPS board member: Hand-held metal detectors could lead to racial profiling

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - No walk-through metal detectors at Jefferson County Public Schools. That will be the message from the district's chief operating office at a special board of education meeting on school safety Tuesday night.
It's the same stance JCPS Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor shared in a one-on-one interview with WAVE 3 News late last week. 

"If I were given a pot of money to spend on security, metal detectors wouldn't be at the top of that list," Raisor said.


That's in contrast to some other urban school districts around the country that use metal detectors to keep guns out.

JCPS found guns in its schools 11 times in the first semester of this school year alone. 

But, Raisor believes walk through metal detectors would create bad optics, a logistical nightmare and a financial drain.

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"For something that is going to be quite cost prohibitive, I feel that money could be better spent," Raisor said. 

Raisor would like to see the money spent on hand-held metal detectors at all JCPS schools for spot checks of students.

But, District 2 board member Chris Kolb is worried about the potential for racial profiling when randomly wanding students.

"Metal detectors give people a false sense of security," Kolb said. "They're only as good as the people who are using them."

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Raisor also favors an upgrade the districts surveillance systems.

District 5 board member Linda Duncan said the problem with surveillance cameras is that they don't stop bad behavior, they only record it.

If JCPS opts to use only hand-held metal detectors to check for guns, Duncan said she is not against randomly wanding students at the door rather than just hoping for tips or red flags.

"We've got to get more proactive," Duncan said. "How many guns are in our buildings right now that the kids have not told us about."

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