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New safety report details ACPS arrests and security incidents this school year

Police car lights (file photo)

Seventeen Alexandria City Public School students were arrested in the first two quarters of the 2022-2023 school year. There were also 15 weapons-related incients, 41 students injured, 44 fights/assaults and a report of sexual misconduct.

That’s according to a school safety report to be presented to the School Board on Thursday. There were 188 incidents requiring a police response within Alexandria City Public Schools in the first two semesters of this year. Weapons seized include knives, brass knuckles, stun guns/tasers, a BB gun and pepper spray.

The report sheds light on the safety situation of the school system as it prepares a new metal detector pilot for the city’s high school campuses and middle schools.

There were 78 incidents reported at the Alexandria City High School campuses, 71 incidents at the city’s two middle schools, 29 incidents at K-8 schools and 10 incidents at elementary schools. There were also 74 police calls for service — 37 at the high school campuses, 28 at the middle schools, four at K-8 schools and five at elementary schools.

The volume of incidents is going down, according to ACPS.

Last school year, 46 students were arrested and 68 injured, with 385 incidents that provoked a police response. There were 28 incidents involving students with weapons in ACPS last school year — 13 incidents in the first semester, and 15 in the second semester, according to another safety report. The weapons seized include a gun, five knives, a stun gun, two fake weapons, and pepper spray.

Semester comparisons of crime incidents in ACPS (via ACPS)

Seventeen ACPS students were arrested in the first two semesters of the school year. Five arrests were for weapons possession, four for controlled substances, three for assault, three for obstruction, one for an alleged threat and another for an open arrest warrant. Eleven students were arrested at the high school and six arrested at middle schools.

Of those arrested, a majority were Black males.

Incidents in the first semester of this school year include:

  • 52 incidents characterized as “other” (parking lot accidents, trespassing, mental health episodes, property lost/damaged)
  • 44 fights/assaults
  • 41 injuries that required medical assistance
  • 15 confiscated weapons
  • 14 controlled substances
  • Eight threats (verbal/cyber/social media)
  • Seven missing student reports
  • Two reports of suspicious activity
  • Two alarms pulled
  • One report of sexual misconduct
  • One Theft
  • One report of possessing prohibited materials

Metal detectors update

ACPS  plans to add metal detectors to Alexandria City High School and the city’s middle schools before the end of the school year, according to a staff report that will be presented to the School Board on Thursday.

The Board will hear new details on the”weapons abatement program” initially proposed on Feb. 2 by the ACPS Department of Facilities and Operations, Office of Safety and Security Services. Under the new “less invasive” system, students, staff and visitors will walk into the school, and artificial intelligence will determine whether weapons are present, the Board was told.

ACPS will launch a communitywide survey on the pilot will on its website on Feb. 24, with results being shared with the Board meeting on March 16. The equipment would be installed in April and the pilot will begin before the end of the school year in May.

The pilot is considered as a “strategy to reduce actual/potential of weapons from entering ACPS facilities,” according to a staff memo.

It costs approximately $60,000 for every affixed metal detector, and $13,000 for mobile detectors, and ACPS plans on using both during the pilot. Additionally, the pilot will be funded by ACPS safety and security capital improvement funds, according to a staff presentation.

ACPS says its proposed advanced weapons abatement technology is less invasive than traditional metal detectors (via ACPS)

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