Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs.
These are just a small fraction of the number of mass shooting events seen at schools, churches and businesses that have made headlines over the past couple of years.
One local retired teacher wants to try to put a stop to these events.
While teaching in the classroom for 24 years at Cleburne ISD, Jackie Beatty said parents never had to worry about sending their children to school. That is not the case nowadays, she said.
She is encouraging local school districts, churches, law enforcement agencies and businesses to purchase the Safe Zone Gunfire Protection technology, which uses cloud-based machine learning to detect gunfire in a building.
The detector was created by AVidea Group Inc., a Florida company created in 2016 to develop technologies for improving lifestyles through better energy management.
Wes Stevens, an authorized dealer for Safe Zone, said the detector is a little bit smaller than your palm, has a microphone, an infrared camera and a light that blinks red when there’s active gunfire.
Gunfire emits a certain acoustic signal that the detector will pick up giving emergency personnel the location of the shooter, the type and caliber of weapon and the number of shots, Stevens said.
One of the biggest problems that comes up during active shooter situations, Beatty said, is the response time by emergency personnel. Law enforcement must locate the shooter and neutralize the situation before possible victims can be treated, she said.
“This device will tell them exactly where the shooter is and their movements as they moves out of the rooms,” she said.
The detector can be mounted on the wall of a room or hallway, Stevens said, and it connects wirelessly to the local Wi-Fi network and bluetooth is used from the user’s phone to initially set up the system.
When an alert occurs, three things happen in less than 10 seconds:
• Alerts are pushed to the Public Safety Access Points in the appropriate dispatch centers within seconds of the trigger pull. That means the local 911 dispatcher receives the alert, with all the critical information on the dispatch system computer screen immediately.
• An alert tone is played and the alert is displayed on all phones that have the app loaded and are connected to the system.
• Texts and emails are sent to the contact list set up for the system by the system administrator.
The system also includes hundreds of non-firearm signatures that are often mistaken by human ears as gunshots — firecrackers, car backfiring, doors slamming, balloons popping and more.
The system has multiple solutions for interfacing with third-party systems such as alarm panels, door lock systems, mass notification systems or video surveillance systems, according to its website.
This detector could be beneficial for school districts, Beatty said, and could be purchased by them using school safety funds allocated by the Texas Legislature. Parent Teacher Associations at the campuses could also raise any money that would be needed, she said.