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Hickman to test weapons detection system until winter break

A photo from Unsplash showing an empty classroom from behind. Two columns of desks point toward the front of the room, with a wide aisle between them. At the front is a larger desk for the teacher and a blackboard. On the right wall is a map.
Ivan Aleksic
Hickman to test weapon detection system per student request.

Hickman High School will test a weapons detection system starting Monday and lasting until winter break, according to an email Thursday from Superintendent Brian Yearwood.

Yearwood wrote in the email that Hickman is implementing the Evolv system until winter break begins Dec. 21 so district staff can continue to learn about it.

Columbia Public Schools tested the Evolv system in the spring at Hickman after student requests.

“The selection of Hickman High School for a longer trial period this year is in continued response to this student voice,” Yearwood said in the email.

He said the system consists of two detection pillars and is not intrusive.

“It is free-flow and touchless and does not require stopping or pat downs,” Yearwood wrote in the email. “This system is used by professional sporting venues and is also currently being used by other entities in our community.”

Yearwood said the district has not yet committed to the installation of Evolv, but it is being considered for all high schools. District staff are also discussing how the system would be funded.

In the meantime, Yearwood said the district is in the process of selecting a vendor for a visitor management system, as well as implementing an alert system provided by the state.

The visitor management system will be able to better identify individuals who have trespassed or are banned from school campuses. It will be funded by a grant from the state, Yearwood wrote in the email.

The alert system aims to streamline emergency response by allowing teachers and school staff to initiate an alert through their cellphones or computers.

The Columbia School Board will also consider an agreement with MU’s Prevention Science Institute at its meeting Monday. The agreement would allow for the “expansion of monitoring of district-issued scholar devices and enhanced training for the district’s existing threat assessment teams,” Yearwood said in the email.

KOMU 8 is a full-powered NBC affiliate operating as an independent commercial property. As such, KOMU 8 is the only major network affiliate in the United States that acts as a university-owned commercial television station utilizing its newsroom as a working lab for students.
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