FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fort Smith School District says it increased the amount of school police officers.

After three weeks of school in session, the Fort Smith School District has seen a total of three incidents where students were arrested and students’ safety was threatened.

The first incident happened on August 16 when police found a gun in a student’s backpack after responding to a report that a student was vaping.

The second incident happened when a student brought a kitchen knife to Ramsey Middle School and threatened a staff member outside of a classroom on August 22.

The third incident happened on August 29, when a student was arrested after making threats on social media.

The number of school police officers increased from 13 officers to 17 officers.

Shari Cooper is the director of communications for the Fort Smith School District.

She says at the recent school board meeting, there was a discussion about “metal detector technology and other security measures.” She also says this plan has been in the works for a while.

Shari says the safety of everyone is the district’s main priority.

“The important thing is we have resources and for the kids that may not be getting what they need at home or have problems at home, that we have counselors and social workers even that can provide resources to the families and the students,” Cooper said.

Cherri Byford is the secondary school counselor coordinator for Fort Smith Schools. She says teachers are trained to notice and act when they see a student in distress.

“All of our teachers are trained to recognize students who may be in distress and to allow them some space to be emotional and to regulate their bodies. And then we can relate to them as human to human. ‘I understand it’s been a hard time for you’ or ‘You’re frustrated and then maybe we can reason through what happened to cause this,'” Byford said.

Byford says counselors, faculty, and school officers practice encouraging positivity daily.