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RCPS enhances school safety with additional OpenGate systems
Photo of RCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry OattsConyers, Ga. – Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) continues to keep the safety of students and staff its highest priority by adding to the number of OpenGate® weapons detection systems in schools. RCPS initially purchased three units last summer that have been deployed to all schools on a rotating basis. With the new additions, middle and high schools each have their own system adorned with school colors and logos. The original units will continue to rotate through the elementary schools and be available for rapid deployment if needed.  

The high-tech OpenGate® weapons detection system is the first wire-free screening portal consisting of two independent and self-powered pillars with each pillar equipped with a support base and electronic analysis system. Unlike metal detector gates, OpenGate® does not require a mechanical and electrical connection between the two transducers that define the passageway.

“We took the necessary time to train staff and become familiar with the OpenGate® systems,” said Superintendent Dr. Terry Oatts. “We quickly realized the ease of use and the safety benefits warranted securing additional units to house at each middle and high school. This weapons detection system is designed to be a deterrent and to detect items that do not belong on campus. To date, we have deployed the original units to all schools at unannounced times and have had no weapons detected. We have developed guidelines for our schools to use the OpenGate® systems which includes unannounced times during regular school operations and events.”

The OpenGate® weapons detection system is one of many school safety enhancements over the past few years which create a multi-layered approach to enhancing school safety. Other safety measures implemented include the EPIC Crisis Alert System™, additional safety personnel and School Resource Officers (SROs), upgraded and increased surveillance cameras, clear bookbags for students, safety vestibules and controlled access at every school, law enforcement access to digital floor plans and surveillance systems, and continued safety training and drills.

The district and schools also promote “See or Hear Something, Say Something” among parents/guardians, students, and staff and encourage everyone to speak up.