2018-09-06 / Local News

Glen Lake installs gun-shooting technology

A new security system with “gunshot detection” technology has been installed at Glen Lake Community School — the first in the state.

The equipment, which cost the district $152,188, is a hybrid of sorts, combining an “indoor active shooter detection system” with a “rapid emergency response system.”

“The components are installed but not yet active and ‘hooked up’ to the police … but will be by the end of the month,” superintendent Sander Scott said.

The system was bought in the shadow of public outrage over a school shooting in Florida that has forced schools across the nation to take a deeper look at security. Some 17 people were left dead in the Feb. 14 melee.

“It’s an alarm system that has pulls similar to those used for fires,” Superintendent Sander Scott said. “When they are pulled law enforcement is notified along with everyone in the building.”

Some systems can also be triggered by the flash of a gun going off. However, the system installed at Glen Lake is designed to discern the difference between, for example, a gunshot and a locker slamming.

“We are extremely pleased to … bring this system to Glen Lake as the first school in Michigan to adopt the technology,” said Christian Connors, chief operating officer of Shooter Detection Systems. “Our sensors have been operating in the field at customer sites in schools, airports, manufacturing sites and other complex environments for over 26 millions hours without a single false alert.”

The system integrates cameras, access control and shooter detection systems already in place at Glen Lake. School administrators, teachers and other staff members can access the portal, which could be used by law enforcement to determine where and how to best respond.

“It’s audio-sound technology,” explained county Sheriff Mike Borkovich. “It can hear sounds, and tell if it’s George Strait singing or a gun shooting.”

Borkovich added that the Sheriff’s Office meets regularly with county school superintendents.

“We have been talking a lot about this technology, and how to protect schools. Different schools are in different budget situations, and some are moving ahead,” he said.

Glen Lake is expected invite community members to a safety demonstration later this month.

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