COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
MU Health Care installed a weapons-detection system on Thursday.
MU Health spokesman Eric Slusher told ABC 17 News in an email that the systems were added to three emergency room entrances at University Hospital and MU Women’s Hospital.
“The safety of our employees, patients and visitors is our highest priority,” Slusher wrote in the email. “To enhance the security of our health system, we have installed a weapons detection system in our three Emergency Department entrances at University Hospital and Women’s Hospital. Weapons are prohibited in our facilities and this system provides an additional layer of security for our employees, patients and visitors.”
Evolv -- a touchless weapons detection system -- was seen outside emergency room entrances on Thursday. Columbia Public Schools held a demonstration of the system in April.
According to previous reporting, the system is meant to detect weapons on people as they enter a building. It resembles a metal detector, but uses AI programming to detect the density and size of materials that make up the slide or barrel of a gun.
Systems made by Evolv are used in places like casinos and stadiums, including in Missouri, according to previous reporting. The St. Louis City Soccer Club uses an Evolv system to scan fans entering their 22,500-seat stadium. According to the company's website, Evolv systems are used nationwide by teams including the Cleveland Browns, the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros.
In April, a pair of nursing students from the University of Missouri submitted a resolution emphasizing the need for metal detectors in hospitals.
“The increasing number of mass shootings that occur in the United States each year has started to impact hospitals around the nation,” a resolution the students wrote to the National Student Nurses Association says.
The resolution claims hospitals with metal detectors are five times more likely to confiscate weapons.
According to MUPD’s daily incident log, police have already responded to 13 assault calls on Hospital Drive this month.