Indianapolis Public Schools, other districts sign up for metal detectors from state

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Schools across the state are considering whether to join a new state program that will give school metal detectors at no cost. 

Indianapolis Public Schools has already signed up for the program, according to school police chief Steven Garner. 

Garner said IPS already uses about 20 of their own handheld metal detector wands of their own on a weekly basis, but the district will take whatever resources they can get. 

“It gives you a lead to whether or not an individual might have an item of contraband or a weapon on them” Garner said.

IPS and other districts are jumping on the state’s website, where they can request one free handheld metal detector for every 250 students. 

The governor’s office said the plan could cost the state up to $550,000 dollars and the first round will be delivered mid-August. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb said it will be up to local officials, not the state, to decide how and when schools should use their wands. 

Garner said IPS does “random metal detections.” Officers target a locker, bus or other area at random. 

The chief said officers also sometimes do detections based on tips or information officers gathered beforehand. 

“So we might (for example) wand all the children who come off that bus based upon reasonable suspicion,” Garner said. 

IPS police use the wands at each high school and middle school. Officers sometimes bring them to elementary schools or sporting events. 

They’ve used them throughout Garner’s 16-year career with IPS. 

“We have not found a firearm on anyone thus far since I have been here,” Garner said. 

Noblesville Schools and Hamilton Southeastern Schools said they’ve just recently learned about the plans and are still researching and considering it. 

Anderson Schools plans to sign up for more wands with the state. The district already uses about three wands in each building, according to the superintendent. 

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