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BOE Approves Safety and Security Upgrades for 23-24

Monday, July 10, 2023

The Canton City Board of Education today approved the purchase of a weapons detection system for the district’s high school and middle school buildings for $370,000. This continues the district’s efforts to significantly upgrade its security systems.

  Superintendent Jeff Talbert said that as a result of discussions with staff and students, along with research by his security team, the district is taking a necessary step towards maintaining safety and security and giving confidence to all stakeholders.

  “Weapons detection systems are in use throughout our community at sporting events, hospitals, and courthouses. We believe this is the next logical step towards ensuring a safe environment for all students and staff,” Talbert said. “This system will complement the structures we already have in place, including our visitor management system, the anonymous reporting system, and daily monitoring by our safety and security team.”

  The walk-through detectors will be located at multiple entrances at each school and will identify dangerous weapons.

  Talbert said that the district is prepared to deal with the initial disruption to the school day, but that he fully expects that students and security staff will easily adjust to the new daily routine.

  “This is a modern, cordless system that will not obstruct doorways or create traffic bottlenecks for students trying to get into the buildings,” he said.

  Security upgrades at the elementary buildings will also be in place for 2023-24. The district’s operations team is planning to overhaul current surveillance cameras and add new cameras where necessary to ensure all areas of each building are secure.  Hand-held weapon detectors will be purchased for elementary schools to be used on an as-needed basis.

  The elementary school security upgrades will be paid for by a $650,000 grant awarded by the State of Ohio, part of the $42 million that Governor Mike DeWine allocated to support physical safety and security upgrades at hundreds of Ohio schools. The weapon detectors will be funded by the district’s permanent Improvement fund.

Lisa Reicosky

Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations