Weapons detection systems are being tested at Central


Rachel Brugge

One of the weapons detection systems was tested on students at the Grant Street entrance on Jan. 26.

From Jan. 17 through Feb. 24, Hinsdale Central will test two different weapon detection systems to potentially update the security measures taken to protect students. Both systems have been tested at different entrances, but it will ultimately be the job of the superintendent and school board to decide whether these systems are implemented permanently. 

“They’re just trying them out and getting their opinion and seeing if it’s something that the school district would be interested in purchasing,” said Michael Coughlin, security officer supervisor. 

One system being tested is a metal detector, just like the ones that are used at sports venues, and the other system can more specifically detect a knife or a gun. 

“The intent is strictly for weapons,” said Kurt Bluder, director of security. “We’re looking to make the school safer.” 

And if one of these security systems were implemented permanently, students would be required to take their computers out of their backpacks and make their way through the security every morning. 

“We can’t avoid taking laptops out, unfortunately, as advanced as some of the equipment is, it’s not to the point where it will not hit on or alert on laptops,” Bluder said.

The weapons detection system used in the morning is portable and moved back into the security office for the day. (Rachel Brugge)

While this may cause a slight inconvenience for students in the morning, the security guards said they believe that safety is more important. 

“Something I think the district wants to be able to say to parents that we did everything that we could to keep our kids safe,” said Kevin Berland, the student resource officer. “This is just the next layer of that.” 

The whole process of going through security every morning is very common for students nowadays, and it would become a habit for Central students. 

“You probably wouldn’t even realize that they’re there most days, you are just used to it,” Berland said. 

The student body has mixed feelings about the new systems, but safety and efficiency seems to be most important. 

“I think that the idea is good for safety, but the execution needs to be correct,” said Lily Jackson, senior, “For over a thousand students to walk into the school and through these systems everyday, they need to be efficient.”

The systems are still being tested, so the process of going through the weapons detection system every morning has not been perfected.

“Some kids were saying that they feel like they’re at the airport, but don’t you feel safe at the airport?” Coughlin said.“If you’re in the building, you want to feel safe so you can learn.” 

For more information about the weapons detection systems testing, contact [email protected].