Gov. Eric J. Holcomb today reported that 3,228 total handheld metal detectors have been requested by 369 school entities—including 94 percent of all traditional public school corporations. On July 9, the governor announced that the state would make the metal detectors available at no cost to traditional public, charter and private schools that request them. This program is one part of comprehensive approach by the state to bolster its school safety efforts.
“I am pleased so many of our schools have chosen to request these metal detectors,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This program is all about giving local school leaders one more resource at their disposal to include in their safety plans.”
The program makes available one handheld metal detector for every 250 students in a school building. The 3,228 devices requested in this first round have been ordered and should arrive to schools in August. Schools that are interested but did not place an order will have another opportunity later this fall.
Indiana has taken other steps in the past year to give schools more resources for school safety, including the following in the 2018 legislative session:
- Made $35 million in low-interest loans available to schools to increase school safety through the Indiana Common School Fund. Applications may be found on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website at www.in.gov/dhs/securedschoolsafety/commonschoolfund.htm.
- Provided an additional $5 million to support school safety grants recently approved through IDHS. Those grants, more than $14 million in total, will be put to use for school resource officers, safety equipment and threat assessments.
- Dedicated $1 million to support a full audit of school safety plans around the state.
Gov. Holcomb convened a school safety taskforce in April to develop recommendations for action in advance of the 2019 legislative session. Those recommendations are due in August.
SOURCE: News release from the Office of Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb