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Securing Our Schools: Lawrence Township schools have been using metal detectors for three years

Posted: 6:41 PM, Oct 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-13 19:29:40Z
All week long, RTV6 is looking into school safety across multiple districts throughout Central Indiana.  We’re asking each district the same questions and bringing you their school safety plan.  We’re working for you, so you know what your school is doing to keep students safe. To see the school safety plans of other districts, visit theindychannel.com/school-safety .

 

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, Ind. -- The Metropolitan School District Lawrence Township already utilizes walk-through metal detectors as part of its school safety strategy and has for over three years.

“The message we’re sending is we’re trying to be as safety conscious as possible, and we’re gonna put in methods to keep us that way,” said Rodger Smith, the Chief of Operations for the district. He's in charge of school safety.

Governor Eric Holcomb recently made available to school districts wand metal detectors, one for every 250 students. MSD Lawrence Township applied for and had received 66 wands for over 16 thousand students.

Smith says their entire staff is trained to use those wands. 

“We’re doing some random metal detection right now every day,” said Smith. “We move, could be busses, we bring them in a different door, do a random check.”

Throughout the district, Smith says there are at least 30 school resource officers every day.

“We’ve got an excellent relationship with Lawrence Police Department, fire department, Indianapolis Police Department and fire because our district sits in both jurisdictions,” said Smith.

Smith says the district also works with police to identify threats online.

“We monitor social media quite a bit,” said Smith. “They assist us in monitoring; they have a little more power to dig in.”

He says the district uses email, phone and text alerts and social media like Facebook to communicate any problems to parents.

“In order to catch all our parents, we use all those media to help us get that information out,” said Smith.

MSD Lawrence Township is about halfway through a ten-year renovation plan to upgrade all of its buildings.

The plan includes strategies to better secure each building, by utilizing technology that will allow automated locking of different parts of their buildings.

“There may be certain times in the day you don’t want students moving into different areas you can close those areas off still maintain safe exits,” said Smith.

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