SJSD: Football fans will be greeted with metal detectors

Robert Sigrist, director of nonacademic services for the St. Joseph School District, said metal detectors were ordered Monday for use at varsity football games beginning on Sept. 24.

Fans will be greeted with more security if they’re planning to attend some Friday night high school football events from now on.

The St. Joseph School District announced it will require attendees at varsity football games to be scanned with metal detector wands starting Sept. 24. This follows an incident where a 17-year-old was arrested at a football game last Friday with a gun in his possession.

Robert Sigrist, the district’s director of nonacademic services, said that incident kicked some ideas into motion and fast.

“That Friday night there was some concern about a pretty serious situation and so it lead to some discussions Monday. That’s when we made a decision that, ‘Hey, we need to look at going this direction,’” he said. “I ordered (the metal detectors) on Monday, so we were fortunate they came very quickly.”

Patrons will be asked to take metal out of their pockets and put it in a container, and they will be checked for weapons with a metal detector wand. Weapons are not allowed on school property. This is one way the district is going to ensure that rule is followed in the foreseeable future.

“Right now indefinitely, we just have to continue to evaluate and see how things are, but right now we’re looking at just doing it for Friday night football games. That’s where we’ve had a concern, and it’s where our largest crowds are,” Sigrist said. “Unfortunately, it’s where we are in society. It’s becoming more and more commonplace, and again, if you go to an Arrowhead football game or you go to a concert or into the courthouse or numerous other places. It’s an effort on our part to make sure that we’re protecting the safety and security of our students and of our staff and of the fans who are at our games.”

Morgan Riddell can be reached at morgan.riddell@newspressnow.com

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