Vape detectors installed in Chicopee high schools

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – High schools in Chicopee have installed new technology to crack down on vaping.

The principal at Chicopee Comprehensive High School said this is the first year they’re using vape detectors, like a smoke detector, for vapors. He said the devices have helped them cut down on student vaping significantly.

Principal Derek Morrison said two serious incidents last school year were an alarming sign of how significant of a problem students vaping had become.

“We had some pretty traumatic experiences last year in which two students were ambulanced to the hospital for some sort of vaping or activity that led to that. It kind of brought a heightened sense of awareness to things,” Morrison explained.

He said the school was able to get the detectors using a district grant. The principal didn’t want us showing students where these detectors are, but said they’re placed in spots where vaping has been a problem.

Morrison said, “They sense a change in the air and the environment that they’re covering.”

Morrison added that the devices also respond to things like loud noises, which could potentially stop fights or bullying. And they pick up on things its hard for teachers to notice, like the vapor released from e-cigarettes.

David Schryver Jr., who graduated from the school last year, told 22News, “As a graduate here last year, almost every class I went to last year, almost every class I went to some kid had one of these, and the teachers had no way to verify it.”

After a Hampshire County woman died from vaping related illness, David Schryver senior, a Chicopee Comp parent and member of the school committee, said the detectors can help put the problem on parent’s radar.

“Can actually monitor it, and possibly catch, I don’t want to say catch, but bring it to the attention of the parents,” Schryver told 22News. “Very scary, because we just don’t know what’s in the liquids.”

So what happens if you get caught? You get these flyers, a referral to the substance abuse counselor and, a $100 fine from the police department through the school resource officer.

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