Listen Live

INDIANAPOLIS — Dozens of schools in Indiana have been putting in their requests for free handheld metal detectors from a new Department of Administration program announced Monday.

The Department of Administration has already received 160 requests from 37 different school districts across the state including Avon Community School Corporation and Muncie Community Schools. 

As part of the program, schools can get one free handheld metal detector for every 250 students as the department works to improve school safety across the state. 

Indianapolis Public Schools, Beech Grove City Schools and Anderson Community Schools say they all have plans to put in their requests in the coming days.

Indianapolis Public Schools Chief of Police Steve Garner says they have about 20 handheld metal detectors placed at all of their high schools, middle schools and alternative schools right now.

They’re used for random checks and anytime there’s reasonable suspicion about a situation.

Chief Garner says they’ve been useful and helped in several instances and that having more of them on hand can only be beneficial.

“I think it helps in a sense that students understand … as they passed through that we want the schools as much as they want the schools to be safe,” said Chief Garner. “And that we don’t know if it’s going to be this morning or next week or not for two months but on a random basis we may be checked when we arrive at school.”

The Indiana Department of Administration will place the first orders for handheld metal detectors on July 19. They will be delivered to schools that ordered them by the deadline around mid-August. Orders placed after July 19 will arrive later this fall.