New technology cuts down active shooter response time

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CARLSBAD, Calif. — When an active shooter situation breaks out, time is critical.

The amount of time it takes for someone to pick up the phone and dial 911, for first responders to arrive and to then find the shooter can take several minutes. However, new technology being installed in some schools and businesses can cut response time down as much as 90%.

“Not only does it confirm it was a gunshot, but [it confirms] where the shooter is in the building, which is critical,” said Tommi RobisonFarr, director for western U.S. operations at Shooter Detection Systems.

SDS has developed a detector that has two sets of sensors: one detects a gunshot and the other detects a muzzle flash. If both sensors go off, an emergency signal is sent to managers inside the building and police officers outside. All of this happens in less than two seconds and can even connect to the doors in the buildings. “They then can lock out or lock down,” RobisonFarr said.

The detection system is currently installed in hundreds of business around the country and even at a private school in San Diego County.

“We probably have 100 to 200 sensors in our building,” said Chief Operations Officer Jeremy Barr, who works as a defense contractor at a company in Carlsbad called Aethercomm.  “As management in a company, you always worry about what’s going to happen if an event occurs, and this removes a lot of that concern.”

The company installed the devices more than two years ago and even paid to have them installed in a local school.

San Diego police said they use similar technology in parts of southeastern San Diego. That technology goes by a different name and is manufactured by a company that specializes in detecting gunshots outdoors.

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