Gunfire Detection Systems Gain New Urgency

As the U.S. continues to experience an unprecedented period of economic and social turmoil, the country set a striking record in 2020: June saw the highest number of monthly gun background checks in history, at 3.9 million.

Mental health experts are warning that lockdown measures enacted to curb COVID-19 may be contributing to a rise in mental health issues, while at the same time the nation is undergoing a historically significant conversation over the role of police and law enforcement policy that has already resulted in major school districts eliminating on-site officer positions.

As a result of these ongoing circumstances, forward-thinking technology integrators now have a prime opportunity to promote and install affordable, intelligent gunfire detection systems that can save lives by expediting police response times and providing detailed real-time information. Whether a gunfire detection system is used in a school, a dormitory, a hotel, an office building, or a transit center, it is currently the fastest, surest way to communicate critical active shooter details to law enforcement and ensure a rapid response.

Saving seconds saves lives, and the best gunfire detection systems available today can significantly reduce the time required to end an active shooter threat. For an average of $200 per room (about $30,000 per school or only $8 per student per year), schools and other organizations can blanket entire properties with highly sensitive gunfire detectors that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify gunfire and automatically send information to law enforcement without any human interaction required. 

The now lower cost of some popular gunfire detection systems can make installation an easy decision.  School resource officers throughout the U.S. earn between $36,000 and $49,000 per year—far more expensive than a technology solution, especially over the long term. What’s more, the data shared can help save countless lives in a way that can’t be matched by school resource officers. The data that gets delivered instantly can include the number of assailants, number of shots fired, location of shots fired, and the type of firearm used.  All data is updated in real-time as officers arrive on site.

It’s crucial the system operates automatically, as instant notification to law enforcement will reduce response times since it does not require faculty to locate a phone or for a lengthy conversation to occur. Once on site, standard police procedure involves canvassing witnesses and gathering information, much of which is also made obsolete by the automatic data sharing. With gunfire data updated in real-time on connected mobile devices, police can get a much clearer picture of the situation and what tactics they should deploy, leading to significantly faster resolution.  

Now is the perfect time for integrators to present these solutions to their customers, as every school across the country is figuring out how to best protect its students and faculty. With time before some school years start, and potential for schools to be emptier due to temporary remote learning options, the simple installation process can be completed quickly and without interfering with school operations. When the cost is so low, and the life-saving potential so great, every school can benefit from a modern gunfire detection system.

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Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson is the president and founder of SafeZone Technologies. The company's Safe Zone Gunfire Detection System is a stand-alone, affordable, automated indoor gunfire detection system providing actionable intelligence to law enforcement, first responders, and onsite personnel within seconds of a gunshot. For more information, visit