N.C. School Employs Active Shooter Detection and Response System
Sept. 12—Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), a K-12 school gunshot detection solutions provider, and CentralSquare Technologies, a public sector software and information technology solutions provider, today announced plans to develop and install the first gunshot detection sensor system with integrated 911 call automation designed specifically for a school campus at Phoenix Academy, a charter school located in High Point, N.C. Programmed to reduce response time and save lives in the event of an active shooter incident, the advanced platform is expected to be fully installed and activated in early 2019, with the support of integration partner Johnson Controls.
According to a company release, the scholastic detection and response system aligns SDS’ Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System with CentralSquare’s Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System, offering Phoenix Academy a comprehensive and streamlined security upgrade that notifies both individuals inside the school and local police and responders of an active shooter. Initially, Phoenix Academy plans to integrate the SDS and CentralSquare joint technology across three campus buildings, with additional installations possible at a later date.
“Together, with our partners CentralSquare and Johnson Controls, we applaud the Phoenix Academy’s commitment to introducing state-of-the-art technology as a part of its evolving safety plans,” said Christian Connors, CEO of Shooter Detection Systems. “As the first public venue in North Carolina and first school in the nation to combine the Guardian and CentralSquare CAD Systems, Phoenix Academy places itself and the city of High Point on the cutting edge of readiness to respond faster and more effectively to an active shooter incident.”
Should gunfire occur on school property, the SDS Guardian System’s sensors use acoustic and infrared technologies to detect and distinguish the shot. Upon receiving a shooter alert, CentralSquare’s interface automatically posts the incident to the CAD open-call queue and requests immediate dispatch without requiring human intervention. By directly contacting the High Point 911 Center, the automated gunshot detection technology system empowers an immediate response and saves valuable minutes that otherwise might be lost through manual alert and dispatching processes.
The SDS Guardian System’s sensors and CentralSquare’s CAD technology also synchronize to provide real-time situational information to police and first responders’ mobile computer terminals and pagers. In the event of an active shooter at the Phoenix Academy, emergency teams will instantly be alerted to the location and frequency of gunshots and note the areas on campus that require the most immediate attention.
“Every second makes a difference during an active shooter incident, and both school officials and local responders cannot afford to lose time waiting for notification and estimating the scope of the situation,” said Simon Angove, CEO of CentralSquare. “By combining our best-in-class CAD technology with SDS’ Guardian detection sensors, we can automate the alert and dispatch processes and get needed personnel to affected individuals faster and more efficiently. We look forward to working with our partners to set the new standard for school safety and protect lives during these devastating occurrences.”
Cited in a company release, the SDS and CentralSquare joint installation is part of a grand-scale overhaul of the Phoenix Academy’s security protocols and technologies following several prominent nationwide school shootings during the 2017-18 academic year. In addition to becoming the first school in North Carolina to implement an active shooter detection system, the Phoenix Academy will install new surveillance cameras, safe-egress door locks and an access control entry system for its staff as part of a coordinated effort with the city of High Point’s government, police department, first responders and 911 call center.
“Ensuring the safety of our students and staff is our undisputed priority, and we recognized opportunities to build upon our existing lockdown and evacuation processes with more capable and responsive technology,” said Kim Norcross, Superintendent of the Phoenix Academy. “While we hope that we never have to use this system at its fullest capacity, we are honored to be the first school to work with SDS and CentralSquare to bring this landmark installation to life.”