Buffalo Public Schools beef up security with more weapon detection

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Public Schools are continuing to beef up security after acts of violence throughout this school year, by approving a half-a-million dollar proposal for added weapon detection at football stadiums.

BPS said that due to an increase of serious incidents this year surrounding their schools, the security department needed updated equipment like concealed weapon detection scanners to keep those that attend games and school free from worry and safe.

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“We’ve been doing it at professional events so it’s time to bring it to the high school level,” said Edward Speidel, District Parent Coordinating Council President. “Better safe than sorry, so if this is one more way to keep our kids and our family safe at events, I’m all for it and I’m glad we are moving in that direction.”

Passing with no objections during Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting, INK LABS, who’s equipment is also used at the Bills Stadium, will be providing BPS with the added weapon detectors, a necessity that the school said will “increase protection while lessening the time currently dedicated to security screening” getting fans into games quicker and safer.

“We did a trial run back in the summertime for our football games at these locations and it has expedited and made the process more efficient,” said Barbara Lark, chief of security at BPS.

The new safety measures will first be installed at All-High Stadium and Riverside Stadium with installation of the equipment scheduled in the next two weeks, additionally Hillary Park Elementary will also be receiving new weapon detectors.

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“We want our children to have more instructional time in the classrooms and if we have a building where they’re entering a two entrances, it could delay [that],” said BPS Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams. “So expanding and putting a few more scanners in a couple of our schools where they’re using multiple entrances. It’s just you know it’s a win-win.”

BPS said the new materials are meant to prioritize the safety, security and wellness of players, students, and families and not hinder their experiences.

“This is really a prevention it’s a prevention and it’s here,” said Williams. “It’s here to stay that’s where we are in the country. You know our schools for the most part are safe they we want to keep them safe and we want to reassure our staff our students folks that are visiting our schools and sporting events that it is safe.”

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Dillon Morello is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has been part of the News 4 team since September of 2023. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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