Mid-Del debuting new system Friday at Carl Albert football game
By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Mid-Del Schools is upgrading safety and security measures for public events.
The district is adding weapons detection systems at all high school football and basketball games as well as large fine arts events. Fans will be screened using the weapons detector called Open Gate before entering events.
“We’re trying to be proactive and preventive for our biggest events,” said Andy Collier, executive director of athletics and student activities.
The system scans a person and their possessions as they walk through it, looking for heavy metal materials and possible weapons.
The new weapon detectors will be put into place beginning Friday night for Carl Albert’s first home football game against Coweta. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to allow for additional time for the scanning. Gates will open at 6 p.m. and kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“This is a new process, and we hope people will be patient, but the reason we’re doing it is to help create a safe environment,” said Stacey Boyer, director of community relations. “
Teachers and district employees typically sell tickets at the gate. Mid-Del Schools is contracting with Goodwill Industries for security personnel to operate the detectors.
“Having gate workers is hit and miss and not as consistent,” Collier said. “This will get us a consistent group of people that will help man those and take pressure off of our staff and administration having someone else there to help.”
At football games, the district will have one machine at the home and visitor entrances.
Mid-Del issued new spectator procedures for athletic events for the 2023-24 school year. The district will not allow re-entry at any events. Bags, backpacks, fanny packs and hard binocular cases will not be allowed. Clear plastic bags and clutch-sized purses will be permitted.
The district upgraded its safety and security procedures following a gun-related incident at a Del City High School basketball game on Jan. 17. After the boys game against Millwood, two people fired shots inside and outside of the field house. Neither were Mid-Del students nor affiliated with the district.
New procedures were put into place immediately.
In February, the school board approved purchasing a new system. The weapon detection systems weigh about 25 pounds and can be easily stored and moved for use at different events in district facilities. The walk-through devices are like those used at many large events in the metro.