April 13, 2023 – “Assured and reassured.”
They’re words parent Jeffrey Rumlin used to describe how he feels about the recently installed Evolv Technology weapons-screening system at Riverside High School.
“As a parent, I and others should not be naive to what school administrators have to face,” said Rumlin, who is also the school’s parent champion. “I would rather have my child to go through some type of system to where they are assured to the best of a human’s ability that they are safe, and that they can learn in a safe environment.”
Riverside High became the first Duval county high school to implement the weapons-detecting devices. The new system replaces the use of traditional metal detectors and hand-held wands with technology that integrates cameras, sensors, and artificial intelligence.
Duval County Public Schools Police Chief Gregory Burton explained the setup not only allows students to walk through without having to stop, but it also allows schools to track important data.
“It’s very non-invasive and non-disruptive for the schools,” said Burton. “And this is a big key why we wanted this system, so students can get into the schools quicker.”
Evolv is not a metal detector. Rather, Burton shared the system looks for items that resemble weapons or could be used for harm. Riverside Principal Timothy Feagins said that also includes objects that can be used to make pipe bombs.
“It looks at different shapes…primarily cylinder type shapes that might be a gun or a knife, a thin type of blade,” said Burton. “You have a screen that another person is looking at, and it will draw a box around the area on that person’s body or their bag in which that item is present.”
“That allows for us to send that student to a secondary table, where we can search that area of the person to determine that they do not have a threat on them,” added Feagins.
The district’s remaining high schools are on schedule to receive their devices through the end of the school year. All high schools are scheduled to have the weapons-detecting systems in place before the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
“I welcome any parent to come out and look at the system,” said Burton. “See how it works. And I’m sure it will give you a really a good feeling of your child being safe in the schools.”
“Students do not need distractions to learn,” said Feagins. “So having the Evolv system has allowed for students to not only have the peace of mind when they’re in class, it also allows for movement to class on time so that they can maximize their learning.”
Watch the video above to learn more.