Police authorize use of metal detectors in Baltimore County schools

TOWSON — Baltimore County’s police chief has authorized the use of hand-held metal-detecting wands by school resource officers.

Chief James Johnson signed the order on Wednesday, saying the decision was made after recent incidents in county public schools involving guns. In one incident in August, a Perry Hall High School student was critically injured in a shooting.

The 70 wands cost $7,000. The county’s 63 school resource officers, who are assigned to all high schools and most middle schools, have been trained and issued a wand. They will be ready for use on Thursday.

Johnson says school resource officers will use the wands only when they have a reasonable, explainable suspicion that a student or visitor has a weapon.

Wands will not be used to conduct random screenings.

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