More school districts are relying on AI for help securing their facilities. One company claims its sensors can identify weapons on people who pass by.
MANSFIELD, Texas — More schools will rely on artificial intelligence to protect students from threats in the coming year.
Administrators at Mansfield ISD Tuesday told school board members the district plans to partner with Evolv Technologies, a company that claims its AI scanners can identify weapons on passersby.
The technology flags “items of concern” on special displays, pinpointing where a weapon might be located on a person. The feature allows human security guards to search a specific area on a subject, rather than forcing them to undress.
“It’s not invasive, it won’t cost time, and it won’t cause tardies,” one Mansfield ISD board member said.
Educators have long complained it takes too long for students to pass through traditional metal detectors. Bell schedules do not wait for children to remove belts, shoes or backpacks, they say.
The Evolv system scans individuals as they pass by a sort of tower. There’s no need to undress, remove bags or file through the detectors one-by-one.
The company claims its technology caught more than 100,000 weapons in 2022.
This spring, Forney ISD became the second Texas school district to implement the Evolv technology. So far, the company said its system is in 465 school buildings across 34 states.
“Forney ISD is using cutting edge technology to provide yet another layer of security for our students and staff,” Forney ISD Police Chief Joseph Sanders said. “We are proud of the partnership with Evolv and will continue to strive each and every day to provide our Forney Family a safe educational environment where students can learn and flourish.”
The devices also collect data, which will help Mansfield ISD administrators determine where to place the movable towers. Educators there indicated they would initially place an Evolv system at each of its high school’s main entrances, as well as at bus drop-off locations.
It’s not clear how Mansfield ISD will pay for the technology, though the district allocated nearly $7 million for security in its 2023-2024 budget proposal. Administrators said workers will install the systems during the coming school year, sometime after students return to class.
The Houston Astros and Six Flags theme parks also use the Evolv’s technology. At least 10 NFL teams use the technology to monitor visitors during events.