MANSFIELD, Texas – Mansfield ISD added new advanced gun detection systems to all of its high schools on Friday that are designed to increase safety without creating a traffic jam at school entrances.
The technology is already being used at entertainment venues and other public places, but MISD is one of just a handful of districts in Texas to use the technology.
It’s more than a metal detection system. The new procedure for all Mansfield ISD high school students goes a step further, toward a secure campus.
“We have one at every front door of the high school campuses, but then we also have them at alternative entrances,”
It uses a weapons detection sensor combined with artificial intelligence.
Sophomore Ben Teague likes the concept.
“As a student I feel it makes us a lot more safe here. I don’t like to worry about safety,” Teague said.
“With metal detectors, it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of manpower to search through everything that’s metal on a person,” said Britney Fortner, Mansfield ISD’s Director of Safety and Security said. “Whereas here, looking for those specific concerns, it identifies the location where we need to search, so any student can just keep walking on through if they don’t have anything of concern.”
If something triggers the technology staff members know the exact spot and don’t have to spend time searching the entire student and their belongings.
The district’s investment comes two years after a shooting a Timberview High School.
Several were injured and the shooter is now serving 12 years for attempted capital murder.
“I think it’s an added level of safety,” said Lisa Wilhelm.
Wilhelm’s son is now a senior who has played a part in the district’s safety discussions.
“I actually sat on the safety and security council a few years ago. I find it interesting to see the things we discussed in that committee come to fruition,” she said.
The technology, called Evolv Express is $40,000 per year for each of the 20 units.
Mansfield school officials say the expense is more than worth it.
“We did a lot of research. We looked up what all was out there that could help us with accomplishing that goal of keeping our campuses as safe as possible,” said Fortner.