RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a new, added layer of high-tech security. Students at V. Sue Cleveland High School are a part of a pilot test that’s using artificial intelligence technology to identify hidden weapons, including guns.

As of the first day of school, students at Cleveland High have been walking through the new EVOLV Technology.

“It has a scanner that scans the individuals that walk through the scanning system, and what it is looking for, is it is looking for components that meet the shape size, and material of a weapon,” said Rio Rancho Public Schools Safety & Security Executive Director Sal Maniaci.

The extra layer of security joins fencing, concrete-filled posts, and security cameras already at the school.

The artificial intelligence-based technology works by flagging objects. If an object is flagged by the system, a student might get an additional security screening to see if they have something on them that they shouldn’t.

The new technology comes years after a student came onto the Cleveland High School campus with a gun.

In 2019, police alleged Joshua Owen opened fire inside the school hallway.

“It is something that just more than once, it is too much for us. So, we want to do the best we can. We try to never be stagnant. We always want to be moving forward and doing the best that we can and pulling as many layers as we can to keep our kids and our staff safe,” Maniaci said.

Safety & Security executive director said the pilot program is costing the district about $136,000 a year, and it is expected to last through the end of the school year. Once that is complete, Rio Rancho Public Schools said it hopes to expand it to other schools in the district.