Hundreds of Indiana schools have requested more than 3,200 hand-held metal detectors under a state program aimed at improving school safety that offers the devices for free.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the program in early July, weeks after a student opened fire at an Indianapolis-area middle school, wounding his teacher and another student.
The governor’s office said Monday that 369 school entities, including 94 percent of the state’s public schools, have requested 3,228 wands under the program that will provide one hand-held metal detector for every 250 students.
The devices for detecting weapons are slated to arrive in August, when most of Indiana’s schoolchildren start the new school year. Schools that didn’t place an order will be able to do so this fall, Holcomb’s office said.
“This program is all about giving local school leaders one more resource at their disposal to include in their safety plans,” he said in a statement.
The metal detectors aren’t Indiana’s first effort to improve security at its schools. A school safety grant program approved by the Legislature in 2013 has awarded more than $53 million in grants to schools for hiring school resource officers, conducting threat assessments and other uses since 2014.
Indiana has been evaluating school safety policies since February’s fatal mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida. A school safety task force created by Holcomb is due in August to report its findings on school safety in advance of the 2019 legislative session.
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