JCPS Board votes to install weapon detection systems in middle, high schools

Published: Oct. 11, 2023 at 6:43 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Jefferson County Board of Education voted to install weapon detection systems in all JCPS middle and high schools, according to a letter sent home to families of 14 high schools on Wednesday.

The letter says schools are in the initial phases of installing the Evolv Express system in half of JCPS high schools. According to the letter, the system can identify dangerous items in bags and pockets without slowing students down or needing children to remove items before going through the scanner. Students need only to walk through.

If the alarm is triggered, the green light on the system will turn red and a picture of the student will be displayed on the tablets of trained staff members. The pictures will feature a red box around the potentially dangerous items, and staff will search the indicated area.

The remaining high schools are expected to begin installation in the spring semester. All middle schools are expected to install the system in fall of next year.

Read on for the full letter below:

Dear families,

Safety is our number one priority and we are always looking for ways to enhance our building security. The Jefferson County Board of Education voted to install weapon detection systems in every JCPS middle and high school and the district is now beginning the process. Our school is in the first installation phase, which means this Fall installation will begin and our students, staff, and visitors will be entering through the Evolv Express system during the school day.

It’s important to remind you that while weapon detection systems are another tool for us to maintain safety in our schools, they do not guarantee a weapon will not make it into the building. We must all continue to work together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our school community.

When the systems are installed, people entering the building will walk through an open-air kiosk that uses sensor technology to quickly scan for weapons. The system can identify dangerous items inside bags and pockets. For that reason, your child(ren) can walk through the sensors without removing their concealed belongings or separating themselves from personal items. Evolv scans as people walk through in real-time, ensuring that your child’s entry to school is not delayed. If an item in their possession alarms the system, the system’s green lights turn to red, and a photo of the student will be shown on a tablet visible to trained staff. The photo will have a red box around the potentially dangerous item. A trained staff member will then search the area indicated in the alert.

The Evolv system emits extremely low-frequency radio waves (ELF), similar to what you see in anti-theft devices in stores. You can view Evolv’s Health and Safety details on the JCPS Evolv Technology website.

This entry procedure is minimally invasive and allows the majority of students to simply walk through the new screening system without interruption and safely head to class. Our staff members have been trained on the system and we ask for your support as we work together to maximize the benefit of this technology. We encourage you to share this information with your child(ren) so they are not surprised to see the systems when they are installed. When we have an official date for our school’s installation and implementation, we will let you know.

Thank you for your continued support of our students and staff. We appreciate all you do to support our school community.