A school outside Boston has installed “active shooter” technology, which can detect the presence and location of gunfire:
In the live demonstration, the “gunman” entered the school armed with an assault rifle, opening fire with dummy rounds first in the school library then rampaging through hallways and classrooms. But he had only a few minutes to wreak havoc.
Smoke alarm-sized sensors installed in classrooms, hallways and other points throughout the building were activated by the sounds of gunfire, and police officers were immediately able to track his movements and quickly subdue him.
The technology was apparently developed for the military and is sold by the appropriately-named Shooter Detection Systems.
I find it absolutely stupefying that we’ve gotten to this point. However, the real kicker for me was this quote from the local police chief:
“Unfortunately, with school crisis situations, it’s about mitigating loss.”
I’m glad that we’ve gotten to the point that saving our children’s lives is now being described as “mitigating loss”.
UPDATED 12 November 2014 4:30 PM: As pointed out to me on Twitter, the “loss” referred to in the quote above is actually time, not lives. Oops. That makes me feel far better about the quote, but no better about the necessity for a shooter detection system.