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Military Tech in School Shortens Shooting Response Time

The Short of It

In the wake of school shootings like Columbine, Sandy Hook and so many more, new safety measures are being taken to keep our children safe. In Methuen, Mass., a new high-tech response to shootings has been tested to see whether it's possible to react quicker and save more lives.

The Lowdown

Engineers from Shooter Detection Systems installed infrared sensors and microphones that can pick up the sound of gunfire and instantly notify school and law enforcement officials where and when a shooting is occurring. It can't stop the first shot, but it can help shorten an attack by eliminating the need for someone to notify the authorities.

Christian Connors, chief executive of Shooter Detection Systems, said the system is based on military technology used in Afghanistan that locates incoming fire. He started the company last year to commercialize the technology.

The system was installed free of charge in Methuen, and school officials are hoping to find the money to put the system into more schools as a preventative measure, like fire alarms. The system costs between $20,000 and $100,000. Connors said his system has been installed in a school in California, and another one is planned in Virginia. The system has also been tested it in a major airport.

When the system was tested in Methuen, a police officer posing as a gunman with an AR-15-style assault rifle fired hundreds of blank rounds in the lobby and school hallways. Police apprehended him in less than three minutes.

The Upshot

As a mom, there's nothing I wouldn't do to keep my kids safe. Living in a post Sandy Hook world, every day that I send my girls off into the world without me makes me a little bit sick in my stomach. I worry, and if it were up to me, I'd have armed guards and bulletproof doors at every entrance. If this system can help give parents peace of mind and keep our children safe too, I hope it becomes mandatory in all schools.

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