SLC schools begin ‘soft launch’ of metal detector

Oct 17, 2023, 5:49 PM | Updated: 6:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Students and staff at four schools in the Salt Lake City School District were welcomed back from fall break with new weapons detectors and security officers.

As part of a four-year pilot program to address growing security concerns on school campuses the weapons detectors were installed at East High School, West High School, Highland High School and Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, the district’s alternative high school.

“I’m glad that they have them, for more protection for the kids,” JoAnn Black said as she was picking up her grandchild from East High Tuesday. “They’ve had a lot of lockdowns over the years and so I think it’s great for the protection of the kids and teachers.”

The weapons detectors in the Salt Lake City School District are not your traditional metal detectors, the company Evolv uses AI to scan for weapons.

“It kind of looks like a Walmart one, and it scans for heavy metal, and you just go through it,” Lincoln Perez, a senior at West High School, said.

Students at West High School Tuesday said the process of walking through the new weapons detectors was surprisingly simple and fast, despite students being funneled into specific doors.

“It’s very simple, it’s not like a TSA checking, they’re not like take off your bag take off this, it’s very simple and really easy,” Soe Koko, a senior at West High School, said.

What students at the schools may not have known is the weapons detectors were not actually turned on Tuesday. The district had a “soft launch” to get the students familiar with using them and seeing the added security staff. The weapons detectors will be turned on next Monday.

“I knew they would be there today, and it was honestly kind of casual and we walked through and felt safe about it,” Sean Lampropoulous, a junior at East High School said.

At each school, the number of weapons detectors varies. East and Highland have them at three entrances, West High has them at four. The district says two private security staff are also stationed at each detector, and each school has a roving security officer.

“The weapons detectors allow for quick, efficient flow of traffic,” Yándary Chatwin, the district’s spokesperson said. “We do not anticipate long back-ups like with the metal detectors at airport security, where people need to remove many items from their bags, pockets, etc.”

The district says no students will be targeted and the only reason a student would be stopped by security staff is if the machine beeps.

“If a weapon is found through a weapon detector, we would implement the same protocol that we implement now,” Chatwin said. “School administration would handle this; the presence of the weapons detectors will not impact existing protocol.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Safe Schools


Mary Culbertson and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Potentially 45 preschoolers and 10 adults exposed to carbon monoxide at American Prep Academy

Five toddlers and five adults were taken to the hospital after being exposed to carbon monoxide at American Preparatory Academy.

5 days ago

(KSL TV)...

Lindsay Aerts

Student accused of attacking Kearns High teacher has special needs, district says

The Granite School district is now investigating what it calls an “egregious” attack on a teacher in the classroom. That teacher is said to be recovering, as is an Assistant Principal and a resource officer who assisted the teacher.

5 days ago

Board with Kearns High School name...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Police: Student put teacher in chokehold, attacked others in Kearns High classroom

A disturbing fight in a Kearns High School classroom Tuesday ended with a student in juvenile detention after police said the student put a teacher in a chokehold, before assaulting two other adults as they tried to free the teacher in front of students.

6 days ago

Sandy crosswalk...

Lindsay Aerts

Contested crosswalk returns to Sandy City

Some parents in Sandy were desperate for a crosswalk to be repainted on Sego Lily Drive after Sandy City repaved the road this summer.

17 days ago

school crossing...

Dan Rascon

Charter schools fight for school zone student safety measures

Several charter schools feel like they are being ignored when it comes to school safety. Administrators say their schools are being denied “school zone” designation which would allow for flashing lights, slower speed signs, crosswalks, and crossing guards.     

26 days ago

Granger High School (KSL TV)...

Pat Reavy,

Man charged with trying to kidnap teen girl near Granger High School

A Taylorsville man has been charged with threatening two teenage girls near a high school and attempting to abduct one of them.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

SLC schools begin ‘soft launch’ of metal detector