LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In a district as big as the Little Rock School District, security isn't always the easiest thing to maintain— and Director of Security Ron Self can attest to that firsthand.
"Being one of the largest districts in the state is a different level," Self said. "Parents want us to keep the kids safe, faculty want us to keep the kids safe, the community wants us to keep kids safe."
But upgrades and new technology are coming. On Friday, LRSD families received a letter that mentioned multiple upgrades to help keep students safe.
"New weapons detection system," Self said. "Centegix Crisis Alert System, which is a badge-type system."
Add in the upgraded camera system, and there are plenty of measures in place to protect students.
Those new weapon detection systems won't go off for common things like keys, but they will trigger for bigger items.
"Which is a way of rapidly identifying a weapon such as a gun or a bomb on a student," Self said.
Those upgrades will be rolled out by spring break.
Another new thing for the district is something that looks like a keycard, which Self described as an easier way to resolve a crisis.
"Which could be a student having a medical issue or anything like that, all the way up to pressing the button to actually putting the school in lockdown," Self said.
Students will see new alarms on the wall, which can flash different colors for different issues. If a school did have to lockdown, LRPD will be notified immediately that something is happening.
Self said it's not ideal that they even have to consider something happening at schools, but this is a reality now.
While these new systems may look out of place at first, Self said they'll eventually become routine.
"It'll be all worth it when we get it to be more of a normal thing, a normal daily occurrence that they do," Self said. "I think that in the end, it's all well worth it for the safety of the kids."
According to Self, these systems will be in secondary schools and the upgrades should be ready by the beginning of the next school year.