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Gunshot Detection Technology: Your Strongest Defense

Gunshot Detection Technology could be your strongest defense against gun violence. In order to mitigate threats and protect assets, security professionals have increasingly deployed a layered security strategy. The common “5 D’s” framework of deter, detect, deny, delay, and defend is often used to achieve this.

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Taking a closer look at the first two functions when applied to a public venue setting, enforcing a strict policy against weapons or other banned objects can deter an individual from entering a venue with these items. Likewise, bag checks, metal detectors, and physical pocket emptying can help security staff detect a potential threat.

While these are necessary steps to keep the public safe, they are not without drawbacks. Visitors may take exception to waiting in lines or subjecting their property or themselves to searches.

Utilizing alternative approaches to discover threats at the door, especially in the case of active shooter preparedness and response, may be a better option to consider. Gunshot detection technology has become a compelling offering for integrators, particularly with advances in technology which have improved reliability and false triggering immunity.

In fact, many laws and regulations are beginning to roll out requiring some form of emergency messaging solutions, specifically in schools. Adding one of these systems to your security effort shows you have invested internally and are prioritizing the safety of those who enter your facility.

The value-add indoor gunshot detection technology offers comes in the form of providing security and law enforcement with an accurate gun violence location which is automated and in real-time. Tracking data is also made available during these situations which are often filled with confusion and panic. The last reported location of an active shooter is where law enforcement is typically trained to go.

This tactic has worked reasonably well with the outdoor, citywide solutions that security professionals have become familiar with over time. However, indoor gunfire situations can make decision making much more difficult. Gunshot detection technology can offer first responders an exact position, thereby granting them the ability to diffuse the situation rapidly, while also saving precious time getting EMT’s and other assets to the warm zone.

Clearing a building room by room is one of the most dangerous and time consuming activities a law enforcement officer can undertake. Eliminating, or at least reducing, the time spent on it can truly save lives thanks to the data a gunshot detection system provides.

Gunshot detection technology can help deliver clarity in chaos and better balance the human element of the decision-making process. Overall, these systems reduce response times, while also cutting back on human-generated false alerts. Not all solutions are created equal though, so choosing the right device for your application will be critical.

According to a survey conducted by Ontic, 88% of respondents are bracing for a steep increase in physical threat activity in 2022, as compared to previous years. Unfortunately to date, these predictions are holding true. Active shooter and gunshot detection solutions can help ease the minds of those who enter your facility, but careful research on the most appropriate solutions should be completed before committing.

Potential buyers should seek out products with the highest level of detection accuracy, as well as those which have been thoroughly tested by independent third parties. Choosing a high-quality gunshot detection solution is surely important, but it should be noted that it’s only a piece of the overall security solution puzzle.

Weapons screening and video analytics are additional layers to detection solutions that have the potential to help achieve a more holistic approach. These innovative technologies are working their way down the pipeline and will play an integral part in keeping facilities safe in the future. Weapons screening can create an “image” of the weapon using millimeter-band, multi-sensor scanners, either passive or active.

Typically, some form of AI is incorporated as well. Unlike older metal detectors or X-ray machines, this new technology allows for higher pass-through rates and the ability to ignore every day, smaller objects while still detecting concealed weapons upon entry.

The biggest current vulnerability with this solution is its susceptibility to an attack from employees or insiders who have knowledge of when the systems are inactive or where they are not deployed. To overcome this, a robust screening policy must be implemented, including a zero-tolerance policy for those who have access to additional entry points, such as employees or vendors. Moving forward, weapons detection could be accomplished by leveraging video analytics. Objects and behaviors would be recognized using your existing video monitoring systems with the implementation of software.

To enhance the object recognition algorithm, AI or machine learning would be applied. While this technology may be cheaper than alternative options, it must be stated that a carefully placed, extremely high-quality IP camera would be necessary to get strong results. Additionally, a human being would be needed to validate the images taken by the system and high false alert rates are a concern.

Video analytics certainly can serve a beneficial role in keeping our facilities safe, however, as with any new technology, some time is needed to fine-tune the accuracy and efficiency of the overall system.

Due to unfortunate recent trends involving mass shootings, a completely autonomous and pre-programmed response to a gun violence incident is what many have found themselves seeking out these days. Industry-leading gunshot detection systems provide a good option for decreasing the risk of an active shooter attack, or mitigating the damage, should one occur.

But as we look ahead, the pairing of gunshot detection technology with other solutions such as weapons screening and video analytics provide multiple layers which work together to detect, as well as deter, bad actors. This, in turn, gives security teams the best chance to deny, delay, and defend using the valuable data these technologies provide.

ACP CreativIT has experts who would be happy to help your organization learn more about gunshot detection solutions. Contact us to talk to one of our experts today.