Metal detectors still a possibility for schools

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What’s the status of the request for metal detectors at Buckingham’s schools?

A months-old suggestion by a county supervisor to place metal detectors in each  Buckingham County school has been researched, but no final decision has been made.

At a March budget work session of the Buckingham Board of Supervisors, a request to investigate the cost of installing metal detectors at Buckingham’s schools was made by District Six Representative Joe N. Chambers Jr.

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Division Superintendent Cecil Snead responded to Chambers, stating he would check into the matter and gather figures.

“We have a lot of things to weigh out,” Snead said in a recent interview with The Herald.

He said that the division’s health and safety committee has checked into prices. One of the major decisions that Buckingham is facing is the exact type of metal detector device to purchase, he said.

“What we were thinking is to look into our options,” Snead said.

The two main options currently being considered are a traditional walk-through metal detector and a mobile metal detector.

Snead said that the traditional metal detector could prove to be cumbersome and inefficient in meeting the needs of the schools.

Snead said the price of a traditional metal detector ranged between $3,600 and $7,500, not including the costs of installation.

Another option being considered by Buckingham County Public School is Cellsense mobile metal detectors. According Metrasens, which manufactures the detectors, “Cellsense plus provides unmatched detection and deployment options for targeting cell phones, weapons and contraband.”

Cellsense provides portable and wall-mounted detection for both indoors and outdoors.

Snead said that the Cellsense mobile metal detectors would potentially cost the school around $10,000 per unit.

“I think it’s very important we have them in the school,” Chambers said of the detectors.

Chambers said with reports of children across the nation coming to school with weapons in their pockets it was imperative that the school system have a way to possibly alert officials if objects are detected.

Snead said an X-ray machine could be a possible option; however, the cost for each unit would be roughly $21,000.

“You can’t put a price on a life,” Chambers said.

Chambers said that out of all the schools, he preferred to see the metal detectors at the middle and high schools.