Sheriff’s Office purchases four metal detectors to help bolster elementary school security

Published 4:16 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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The Stanly County Sheriff’s Office has found a way to increase security at schools this year.

Sheriff Jeff Crisco, a Republican who has been sheriff since 2019 and is seeking re-election this November against Democrat Davara Ponds, said he has a vested interest in the school system, as four of his six grandchildren are enrolled in Stanly County Schools.

After speaking with Jennifer Flowe, safety representative with the school system, about some of the ways schools could be better protected, Crisco decided to have his department purchase four mobile metal detectors to be placed inside four of the elementary schools. The total cost is about $16,000 and came from a federal grant Crisco said the Sheriff’s Office could utilize for anything except salaries.

“This is our way of doing something for the school system,” Crisco said. “All of the kids are our responsibility.”

Crisco said the plan is for them to be installed upon arrival, possibly before the start of the school year.

The sheriff broke the news about the purchase to the school system during last week’s school board meeting, when he briefly spoke during public comments, noting in light of the recent Uvalde, Texas shooting, he considered elementary schools to be “soft targets.”

“Nobody had any idea that I was going to do this,” he said later. “So when I came to speak, everybody was like, ‘Wait a minute, what are you doing here?’ They were worried. I said, ‘I promise you all, this is a good surprise.’ ”

In a statement from the school system, Hope Miller-Drye, administrative and school board assistant, confirmed the Sheriff’s Office purchased the four detectors and said they will be placed in local schools, but noted “the exact placement and date of implementation…have not been determined at this time.” The metal detectors, she said, would be used during large-scale events, such as awards days.

Miller-Drye said Stanly County Schools is working to secure funding to purchase additional metal detectors to place inside all elementary schools.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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