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Mesa High School’s Metal Detectors Lead to Firearm Discovery

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Enhancing School Safety

 

Proving the importance of metal detectors in schools, a recent incident at a high school in Mesa, Arizona, highlighted the effectiveness of the OPENGATE weapon detection units. On May 15, 2024, a student was arrested after the newly placed security solution identified a loaded handgun in his backpack.

Incident Overview:

  • Detection and Arrest: The newly installed weapons detection system at Mesa High School went off as student Joseph Coops passed through. A security guard acted quickly to find a 9mm handgun with a loaded extended magazine and an additional loaded magazine in his backpack.
  • No Threats Made: Although Coops did not threaten anyone, the presence of a loaded firearm on campus was a significant safety concern. His admitted reasoning for carrying the gun was just wanting to own it, not for self-defense.
  • Legal Consequences: Coops was arrested and charged with possession of a deadly weapon, carrying a weapon on school grounds, and carrying a deadly weapon under the age of 21.
A picture of downtown Mesa, Arizona
Downtown Mesa. Credit to Wikipedia user Ixnayonthetimmay

This incident occurred just one day after Mesa Public Schools began using the weapons detection systems in all its high schools, a decision made to enhance security and prevent similar incidents. The district emphasized that these systems are crucial in deterring students from bringing weapons to school and ensuring a safer environment.

Mesa Public Schools reiterated that student and staff safety is a top priority. The weapons detection system, approved in November 2023, is a key part of their comprehensive security strategy. The detection and swift response at Mesa High School underscore the vital role of metal detectors in maintaining school safety. By preventing potential threats and ensuring quick action, these systems help create a safer learning conditions for all students and staff.

For more details on this incident and the district’s security measures, you can read the full article on AZFamily.

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