UPDATE: Bibb County School District approves $1.3 million weapons detection system for schools

The school board voted Thursday to approve the purchase of the system.
Opengate Weapons Detection System

UPDATE: The school board voted Thursday to approve the purchase of the system.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Bibb County School District is looking to purchase a concealed weapon detection system called Opengate for local schools.

According to a memo to the school board from Elaine Wilson-Beverly, Executive Director of Procurement for the school district, and David Gowan, Director of Risk Management, “the plan is to purchase 82 machines for each district location”. The project’s estimated cost is $1,342,764.40. Gowan told school board members during the committee meeting that system would be used at every school at the beginning of the school day during students’ arrival.

The quote for the school district prepared by Communications Technologies, Inc. says that the Opengate system will require laptops to be passed around the system. Opengate is described as being different structurally from traditional walk-through metal detectors. Based on the descriptions, they essentially function the same. According to the description, they’re able to detect “mass casualty shooting weapons and IED”. They’re designed to be used in all places open to students and visitors in school buildings and at event entrances. 

Communications Technologies, Inc. said this about Opengate in its executive summary:  We feel our solution is the best weapons screening solution available on the market today and provides an incredible value to the district. Our approach to security at any district is to recommend a layered and multi tiered approach to safety. Our solution alone is not enough to secure a district from all threats. We feel the price point of our units allows your district the opportunity to utilize all of the funds you have for security to purchase and develop this layered approach leaving funds available for upgrades to access control, video surveillance, emergency notification systems and enhancements to community communication and social media outreach.

Bibb County School Board members are expected to consider the purchase during Thursday’s school board meetings.

The system would be paid for by the security and safety grant that the district has received from Georgia School Safety Grant, provided by Department of Education and General Funds, according to school district documents.

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