Cardillo: Proctor Weapons Detector Wasn’t Calibrated to Detect Knives
Utica school board member and 2023 mayoral candidate Bob Cardillo has revealed that the weapons detection system installed at Proctor High School was not calibrated to detect knives when a student stabbed a fellow classmate during a fight on October 31st.
"Apparently from what I understand, it's not necessarily the machine," Cardillo said. "It's the way the machine was calibrated. Certain levels of calibration. This system has been used in other districts," he added.
On October 31st, a 17-year-old male Proctor student attacked an 18-year-old male and stabbed him several times with a knife. Police say the student, whose name has not been released, was charged with Attempted Assault, a class-C felony, and a misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a weapon.
The Evolv Weapons Detection System was installed in all Utica schools over the summer at a cost to the district of about $400,000, according to Superintendent Bruce Karam, who is currently on leave. The device costs upwards of $3 million, but much of the total cost was picked up by state aid. Cardillo said that when the units were first installed, they were calibrated to detect guns and other "weapons of mass destruction," but they weren't calibrated to detect knives. Since then, Cardillo says that the units have been re-calibrated to detect knives.
"We re-calibrated the machine now," Cardillo said. He said that recently a student with a knife was detected who was in possession of marijuana, and when he was confronted he ran out of the school. "Now it did detect a knife, apparently," Cardillo said. "It didn't before and apparently, it's the calibration," he said.
Evolv Weapons System Draws Skepticism in New York City
New York City has been contemplating the use of the Evolv Weapons Detection System, however it has drawn recent criticism from security experts who say that the Massachusetts company's claims of stopping weapons is just not true, according to an October 6th report in The City.
"The outcome that we found is Evolv did not detect things it says it detects. Evolv says it detects all guns, all bombs, all knives — and that is clearly not true,” said Conor Healy, director of research for IPVM, a video surveillance research group. “That is something [the Mayor Adams administration] should know about when they buy Evolv, and that is not something Evolv is saying.”
According to the report in The City, "Healy noted that just last month, three people were shot inside an amusement park outside Pittsburgh called Kennywood that relied on Evolv scanners to tag firearms at the entrance. On Thursday, police there arrested a teenager as the suspected shooter and said they still don’t know how the weapons got into the park, but that they could have been thrown over a fence or brought in by someone who jumped the fence," according to the report.
Experts say that the Evolv system is actually a smarter version of a metal detector, and weapons which are not made of metal, will not be detected. Reports also claim that the system is also prone to false positives with items such as laptops and umbrellas setting off the alarm.
Watch Bob Cardillo Interview below.
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