The Last Word With… Joe Byron, Shooter Detection Systems

Joe Byron, Shooter Detection Systems

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Joe Byron, Vice President of Sales, Shooter Detection Systems explains how the company’s solutions can improve the safety of schools.

What is Active Shooter Intelligence?

Shooter Detection Systems (SDS) introduced indoor gunshot detection for commercial applications almost ten years ago and we’ve continued to evolve our solution to encompass far more than the industry’s leading gunshot detection sensor technology.

Unfortunately, as society continues to experience and evaluate active shooter incidents, it became apparent that these fast-moving, complex events require a holistic approach. Active Shooter Intelligence encompasses everything that SDS brings to the table, including our highly reliable and privacy-conscious technology, unsurpassed gunshot detection engineering experience to address the specific needs of each user, high levels of sales and operational partner support and insightful education programs for customers and the security industry.

How will SDS’ new emergency response solution aid first responders?

The inherent value of gunshot detection lies in its ability to reduce response time to shooting incidents, but these events often unfold faster than most can dial 911. Public safety answering points (PSAP), 911 call centers, have long been wary of automated emergency data they receive due to the high number of false alarms. Enhanced 911 (E911) data cannot inform the police and other first responders where an event is taking place within a building. The inability to pinpoint where an active shooter event is taking place consumes valuable time during incidents where every precious second counts.

SDS’ new Emergency Response Service is a real game changer. Our advanced gunshot detection sensors instantly and continuously transmit incident data – including the building address, floor where the incident is happening and location on that floor where shots were fired directly to PSAP. At the same time, we have Emergency Response Service operators calling PSAP, providing them with even more context about the emergency in progress.

This includes the number of consecutive shots fired, a GPS map of the location, as well as a group SMS conversation that puts first responders, the 911 caller, the Emergency Response Services operator and the building point-of-contact (POC) in communication with one another. We provide all this information in real-time so first responders have the most detailed and updated information available to help mitigate the threat before it escalates further.

What new developments is SDS looking at for 2024?

2024 is slated to be an exciting and pivotal year for SDS as we fully engage the deployment of our Total Building Perimeter Solution. For several years SDS has been developing intelligent and reliable outdoor gunshot detection technology as requested and funded by the Department of Homeland Security. This dedicated effort has yielded the development of a high-quality, affordable outdoor gunshot detection solution that can easily be deployed near school entrances, parking lots, courtyards and playgrounds.

Our new outdoor solution integrates with existing SDS indoor gunshot detection systems and features the same high-level alerting and tracking capabilities currently available to clients who use our indoor product.

Are there any new programs/initiatives to help get SDS’ life-saving solutions into schools?

Since its founding, SDS has worked closely with schools of all sizes to implement and fully leverage our gunshot detection solution. In 2023, SDS launched a new program and partnered with a dedicated grant search partner to assist schools in submitting high quality, impactful requests for federal or state funding. This service is free to schools who chose to work with SDS and we are already experiencing strong interest from many members of the education community who most often don’t have the time or expertise to explore these important programs.

This article was originally published in the April edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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