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Port Arthur ISD school board approves installation of metal detectors at all elementary, secondary campuses

The move came Thursday during a school board meeting. The metal detectors are expected to cost more than $64,000.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — The Port Arthur Independent School District approved the purchase of new metal detectors for elementary and secondary schools.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from a June 21, 2022 newscast.)

The move came Thursday during a school board meeting. The metal detectors are expected to cost more than $64,000. 

This agenda item came after a tragic mass shooting at a Texas elementary school claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers, which led to districts reevaluating safety measures.

Port Arthur ISD police don’t expect the detectors to be a foolproof line of defense. However, they hope they will at least act as a deterrent against armed individuals trying to enter schools.     

“This is just another tool in our toolbox to help increase security in light of all the violence that's been occurring in the country, you know, in our schools,” Port Arthur Police Chief Alton Baise previously told 12News.

Metal detectors have been in place at Memorial High School and all middle schools across the district for two years. 

“The metal detectors do serve as a deterrent for anyone who wants to bring any kind of metal objects or weapons into the school buildings,” Baise said. “They serve their purpose.”

Port Arthur ISD has also installed metal detectors at various sporting events, including football and basketball games. The detectors have acted as a deterrent.

The metal detectors are made by a Texas company, Garrett, and were installed at Santa Fe High School following a school shooting in 2018.

“Each metal detector comes with at least one wand as a secondary in case something may be missed by a metal detector," Assistant Port Arthur Police Chief Eugene Wilson said. "Or a metal detector may alert, and we move into a secondary and use a hand wand just to make sure."

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