Can metal detectors increase security at Jefferson County HS football games?

School leaders talk about football game security

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Making Friday night football safer for players and fans after the latest scare Friday at Center Point High School was a topic of concern on Monday. Jefferson County school officials talked about safety after shots were fired outside the game, causing panic on the field.

Increased security is on the minds of a lot of school districts. Down in Mobile, there was a shooting at a high school stadium there. Tuscaloosa schools recently put in metal detectors. Jefferson County’s School Superintendent Craig Pouncey said they have discussed the possibility.

"If you put metal detectors at football stadiums, then do you move them to the softball field in the spring, do you move them to the baseball field? What do you do for basketball? I just think there is nothing that can deter bad behavior,” Pouncey said.

Superintendent Pouncey said the safety of their students, players and fans is a top concern for the school district. The shooting, which happened outside of the Center Point High School stadium in a nearby community, shook many people up at the game. Pouncey said they are looking to ask the sheriff’s office for broader patrols during games at certain schools close to neighborhoods. As for metal detectors, Pouncey says they would not have helped Friday night.

Pouncey is satisfied with the school system’s current security setup. He believes the strongest message for security is a big presence of law enforcement at the games. This game had 16 or more SROs for security. The sheriff’s office is vowing today to make an arrest for whoever fired those shots.

“If you put metal detectors at football stadiums, then do you move them to the softball field in the spring, do you move them to the baseball field? What do you do for basketball? I just think there is nothing that can deter bad behavior,” Pouncey said.

Pouncey says the school system is considering increasing lighting and removing some trees near stadiums.

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