Would You Know Gunfire if you Heard It? New technology aims to help

Published: Apr. 27, 2017 at 10:52 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2017 at 11:36 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The number of active shooter situations has increased dramatically in recent years.  The question is, if you were in your office, would you be able to determine if you heard a gunshot?

"A gunshot doesn't necessarily sound like a gunshot," Jeff Murphy of ECT Services in Louisville said. "Especially if it's far off in a building.  People tend to think, oh that was a loud noise, so they tend to go toward it."

ECT Services is now selling the Guardian Indoor Gunshot Detection System.  This is how it works:  sensors pick up the muzzle flash and sound of the weapon, then it sends alerts via email, text and it can be tied into a PA System, or a system that would lock down a building.

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"With this, it takes that human element out of it," Murphy said.  "I know for a fact a gunshot happened.  And now I know what action to take."

In addition, each of the sensors that are set up throughout the building have a unique internet address.  So if a shot is detected, it tells the user and police exactly which building and room it occurred in.

The goal is a quicker response from police.

Statistics show the average duration of an active-shooter incident is 12.5 minutes.  The average time it takes to notify 9-1-1 is six minutes.  The average response time is 18 minutes.  This means in most cases, the shooting incident would already be over.

ECT Services is hosting opportunities to educate local companies about the product.

"Time saved, is life saved," said Chris Meiners of Meiners Medical and Safety, who recently attended a session.

The technology was used by US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  CEO Christian Connors says he initially targeted the school market.  However, he's expanded to municipal buildings, airports, large corporations, museums and synagogues as more places have become targets of mass shooters.

"It seems to be happening once a month, there's an active shooter.  Whereas it was once a year 7 to 8 years ago," Connors told us via Skype.

"It's not going to get rid of those shooters.  But what it will do is dramatically lessen the time to respond so we can save lives," Murphy said.

This system is only for use indoors.  So it differs from the ShotSpotter Detection System that is used in cities across
the country, including Louisville.  It works by using acoustic surveillance technology that uses sensors to detect, locate, and alert on gunfire.

ShotSpotter has been credited with the swift capture of the shooter in Fresno on April 22nd.  The suspect, 39 year old Kori Ali Muhammad, says he killed three people in a bid to wipe out as many whites as possible.

"Kori Muhammad would be outstanding today if it wasn't for shots-fired detection," Fresno's Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
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