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Portland Public Schools will test out weapon detection system at McDaniel football game

The district said that Opengate pillars will be placed at the McDaniel High School stadium entrance during the Friday game against Lincoln.
Credit: Evan Watson (KGW)
McDaniel High School is one of three eastside high schools listed as hubs for a Portland initiative on gun violence prevention and 'street level outreach'

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Public Schools plans to test out a new weapon detection system during a McDaniel High School football game on Friday, officials said in a message to families.

As spectators arrive for the game between the McDaniel Mountain Lions and Lincoln Cardinals, PPS said that two portable Opengate pillars will be set up at the stadium entrance. Everyone in attendance will be screened by just walking through the pillars.

If the system detects a weapon, it will trigger alarms and optical signals to alert security staff, resulting in a secondary screening.

The test stems from a Safety and Security Task Force convened by PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. In May, the group presented a list of 13 recommendations, including one to “pilot a roving weapons detection system at key entry points of major high school events.”

RELATED: Portland leaders discuss solutions to surge in shootings near schools

According to school officials, attendance at the game won't be very different from usual in spite of the new security technology.

"We would like to encourage the entire PPS community to come out, cheer on the Lincoln and McDaniel teams, and take part in this important demonstration," the district said.

City leaders stepped up discussions of school security after a rash of shootings around Portland high schools last school year.

Portland's Office of Violence Prevention has identified McDaniel High School, Parkrose High School and David Douglas High School as focus points for its street level gun violence outreach plan. In August, the city selected two organizations to run youth outreach for these east side schools.

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