Using Gun Detection Technology To Stop School Shootings
Rob Huberty is ZeroEyes’ COO. CBS3 Norfolk, VA spoke with Rob about ZeroEyes’ gun detection technology. The entire article can be found here. Rob spoke about how the company was formed. In addition, he shared about why this is so important to him and his team. In his own words,
“I want to stop active shooters. It’s sickening to see a shooting every single day and somebody else’s life is devastated by gun violence.”
As a former Navy SEAL Rob knows the experience of being in gun fire all too well. He and his team believe that nobody should have to go through that, especially children. After returning home from active duty, Rob was looking for a purpose. As a result, Rob and some of his former SEAL Team members joined together to form ZeroEyes as a result.
ZeroEyes Gun Detection Technology Saves Valuable Time
ZeroEyes can now detect AK-47. AR15, 9mm handguns, and other fire arms. Without ZeroEyes cameras are able to capture information passively. Cameras provide forensic data to determine what occurred after a tragedy happens. While that does assist with forensic investigation, it does not help during the crisis itself. On the other hand, with ZeroEyes in place, those same cameras become active.
For the past several years Rob and his team have been training cameras to be more intelligent. By installing their software at test sites, they show the cameras guns and teach the machine to learn. The term “machine learning” is becoming popularized now, but it can be misleading. In some respects artificial intelligence teaches itself. However people often don’t understand that it’s human beings who are doing the teaching.
Rob says it best when he says,
“We view ourselves as one component of safety. It’s not the only solution…it’s going to require a lot of different components. This would be a value add.”
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Details Companies That Provide Defense For School Shootings
The CBC recently recognized ZeroEyes as a piece of the solution to stopping school shootings. Skip to 3:45 to see ZeroEyes in this piece. CEO Mike Lahiff speaks with the host about gun detection. The benefits to this kind of technology are immense. ZeroEyes has their sights set on school security to make school safe again. While the team recognizes this kind of prevention is a piece of the puzzle, the problem runs much deeper.
Furthermore, the CBC covered this same story in an article on their website. You can read that story in full here. In his interview with the CBC, CEO Mike Lahiff said,
“My wife’s a school teacher…and I got tired of turning on the news and seeing active shooter events almost every week. It’s disgusting. And there’s not really a good solution out there.”
Using Technology To Stop School Shootings
There are a lot of benefits to having AI supporting your school security staff and local police. It is impossible to have people watching every security camera feed all the time. Our brains and eyes are only capable of processing so much. However, when we know what we need to do we can jump into action with the best possible information available. That’s what ZeroEyes is all about.
This company gives first responders the situational awareness they need to keep themselves and other people safe. Hopefully there is never another school shooting. Unfortunately it seems like they may keep happening unless there are additional security measures put into practice. ZeroEyes is not the only solution, but it is an integral cog in the wheel.
What Is Gun Detection Tech?
In some sense this is a straightforward phrase. Gun detection tech is software that can read camera feeds to detect if a gun is present. Security cameras are fed into a computer and analyzed using an algorithm to determine whether or not a gun is on camera. ZeroEyes then sends that information to the appropriate authorities.
Schools in America desperately need something like this to help protect students and teachers. In the past 20 years there have been far too many incidents of violence on school properties. ZeroEyes is a company which was founded by former Navy SEALs. The mission of the company is to stop school shootings. Recently, Caleb Jones of ZeroEyes sat down with WBIR NBC 10 to discuss the company.
Caleb says, “I can’t think of a more difficult problem to solve, or a more impactful problem than the violence that we’re seeing in school today.” Watch the full news story here:
Gun Detection Tech Innovation
What Caleb says is true. “Something has to be done now…” In like manner, too many conversations about this topic devolve into a political argument. ZeroEyes provides a part of the solution. Theirs enables cameras to see guns. Security cameras can become even more powerful with this technology. “In a nutshell it’s a – a weapon is seen on a camera, the computer identifies that, sends the alert…” Ultimately technology like this will give first responders more time. Additionally, we need to find ways to get this technology into schools affordably.
That potential could save valuable seconds at a crucial time.
“A computer never gets complacent…”
Gun detection tech is secure. It is constantly learning. Over time ZeroEyes gun detection tech will actually improve. Therefore it will never get complacent. “Again, if you’re holding a stick like a gun, even the human’s gonna be like, ‘hey is that a gun?'”
This company exists to provide people predictive, preventative support. There is no way to predict when a school shooting will occur. The only way to prepare for it is to have the best possible information in the hands of the people who need it most. Quickly. At the end of the day it’s about saving lives.
Caleb says it best when he says,
“…if we could save one life I would call it the greatest success of…my life.”
Security Guards Deserve Better Intelligence
School shootings are a horrible reality now. Walkie talkie communications are insufficient if there is no visual of the perpetrator(s). 911 is only available once a shooting has begun, and somebody calls. In many instances it is simply too late for security guards, because there is too much lag time. Between the moment a shooter is on site, to the time they bare their weapon and begin firing, a lot of time passes.
Have ZeroEyes Analyzing Your Camera Feeds For Your Security Guards
By having gun detection on your camera systems, they become more intelligent. First the camera detects a gun. Then proper authorities receive an alert. Using that intelligence first responders and security guards can spring into action. Then a trigger for access controls closes doors and locks them. A security guard can be given location data and images of the shooter so they can help people to safety. Therefore if security guards were able to have access to this information they could save valuable seconds, or minutes, in saving more lives.
The Federal Commission On School Safety
In 2018 President Donald J. Trump appointed U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to lead the Federal Commission on School Safety. She provides meaningful and actionable recommendations to protect schools and students. No one-size-fits-all solution to this complex problem exists. But it is promising to know that the Federal government is taking action towards making our schools safer.
Security Guards Provide A General Sense Of Safety
Security guards provide a general sense of safety within a school. They should not be given the pressure of stopping an active shooter. Their role in protecting students and faculty could be better positioned to usher people to safety. Rather than having to engage in live fire with an active shooter, security professionals need better situational awareness to allow them to protect people.
Nevertheless it is important to remember that security in schools requires a multifaceted program. There is no one-size-fits all solution. Every school has different circumstances that need to be addressed as well. If you are seeking new solutions for school security, consider making your cameras more intelligent. As a result your security guards will be safer and better able to provide a safe environment.
Pennsylvania School Safety Programs Will Begin At The Source
In the wake of horrendous school shootings, state lawmakers are looking for answers. Pennsylvania school safety is getting a boost from new funding. Bi-partisan politicians approved $60,000,000 to create sustained assistance to schools.
PA Rep. Dan Miller said,
“Many schools used…money (to) improve the physical safety of their buildings, but many more asked for more sustained assistance in relation to trained professionals to help connect the kids to improve learning and address problems before they occur.”
Basically, the issue is, that increasing school security does not address the root problems. Adding more cameras, armed guards, and other assets can be helpful, but they don’t help students who are troubled or struggling.
Rep. Mike Sturla from Lancaster says,
“Those are the things that we need to address in the schools and not wait until we have a tragedy like we just saw in Colorado…”
Even when analyzing Google search results for things like, “school shooting,” we see a spike in search volume immediately after an incident. In between school shootings that receive national attention, there are virtually no searches for this term. There is an instinct to avoid considering the possibility of a tragedy like this ever occurring. In any event, it is fortunate that the state of Pennsylvania is beginning to allocate more resources for preventative interventions.
Schools Need Even More Support
Rich Askey, President of the Pennsylvania State Education Associations notes, “These talented and dedicated people are spread so thin and wear so many different hats that they just can’t do everything they’d like to do for our children.” That is a huge problem we need to address as a society. Our schools should be some of the safest places for young people to go. It should be a major priority to provide these institutions what they need to ensure the safety and security of all students & faculty.
Improvements Take Time
More improvements to school safety must be made. Those improvements will take time, effort, and money to address. Therefore, as different attempts are made, people must be patient. Some solutions can address preventative measures. Others will be defensive in nature. A well rounded approach will yield the best results. The sad an uncomfortable truth is that school shootings are haphazard events which are difficult to predict.
What we can all hope for is that the root causes of this kind of violence are discovered and dealt with successfully. No student should ever be alienated to the point they take such drastic devastating action.
As a result, ZeroEyes will continue to create solutions to keep children safe in the unfortunate event tragedy strikes.
Using Weapons Detection Technology To Protect Our Schools (Podcast Link)
As integrators of security products, Alpine Consulting has an interest in weapons detection technology also. The fact that ZeroEyes was founded by a group of former Navy SEALs has left an impression on Alpine. In addition, Earl Stevens and Stan Duda from Alpine Consulting have a special interest in the topic of threat and fraud protection. This podcast features a conversation between Stan and Earl from Alpine, with Dustin Brooks and Rob Huberty from ZeroEyes.
In this podcast conversation, you will hear information regarding school shooting statistics. The data can be incredibly alarming, and deeply disturbing. However, finding a solution to this problem is much deeper than technology. As all four of these men agree, as a society we are not going to stop mass shootings simply with technology. There is a deeper issue among people that has to be addressed. On the other hand, we can’t sit idly by waiting for the world to become a safer place.
Technology Won’t Stop Bullying
Many school shooters have been bullied or otherwise abused. It is unclear if there is a clear way to positively impact somebody intent on causing this kind of destruction. School administrators, teachers, and guidance counselors need help too. So long as people feel hopeless and ignored, they will may seek out destructive behaviors.
School Shooters Don’t Operate Rationally
School shooting perpetrators do not operate like most other violent criminals. As a result, a school shooter will almost always bare their weapon early and parade it around to terrorize people. ZeroEyes technology has the ability to detect that weapon, and send alerts to the proper authorities. This saves valuable time for first responders, and provides them with situational awareness to best take action.
Gun Detection Makes Security Cameras More Powerful
The world has become a much more connected place. That has resulted in a need for more security everywhere. Facility managers have added security cameras throughout their properties. This allows them to monitor spaces, and protect people within them.
Gun detection can be a powerful deterrent to the threat of violence. In today’s world that is important for schools, places of worship, as well as in hospitality. This technology should not be your only security measure to stop active shooters. Consequently, the ability to have existing security cameras detect guns is very powerful.
Protecting People From Gun Violence
In recent years, the threat of gun violence has increased. News stories about school shootings or other instances of gun violence in places of worship are more prevalent now. Moreover, there have been an increased number of senseless acts of violence in the last 10-15 years. That has resulted in high anxiety and confusion. ZeroEyes is dedicated to providing security professionals valuable information in real-time.
Notwithstanding existing security measures in engineering design, more must be done.
Addressing Privacy Concerns
ZeroEyes technology is primarily concerned with detecting guns. Likewise, screen captures provide first responders with appropriate situational awareness so they can best help people. It is only in the unfortunate event that there is a real threat, where a keyframe image would be captured and recorded by the ZeroEyes system.
Turning Existing Security Cameras Into Security Guards
Many security cameras installed today are high resolution enough to be utilized with ZeroEyes technology. This capacity to retrofit makes the product much more accessible. With an additional server rack, and the time to install, your facility can begin improving upon your security very quickly. Every educational facility deserves to provide a healthy learning environment for everybody involved.
One of the problems with certain security measures is that they end up causing more anxiety. The sheer visibility of metal detectors in schools can make people feel uncomfortable. While providing an unfortunately necessary protocol to protect people from an unexpected disaster, you can create a toxic environment. It may be required in some places to have high security checks but in schools it is best if the protection can be relatively unnoticed.
The notion of arming teachers makes many people nervous. Without weighing in on whether or not that is a viable strategy for defense, it can be agreed that this could add significant worry & concern for people. Just as in the case of adding metal detectors or other machinery for people to check in with at the entrance, introducing more weapons on the premises does not generally increase a feeling of calm.
Many states have a surplus of funding available to them for school security measures. There are simply not enough solutions to accommodate the current needs. People do not know what to do with their available resources. The typical tactics taken to make improvements have been adding armed security guards or teachers, metal detectors, and increasing the number of cameras. As previously stated, the first two solutions tend to increase anxiety and make people feel less safe. Adding security cameras may be helpful for places that lack coverage. However, it is still infeasible for a human being to monitor hundreds of cameras every day, especially when the likelihood of an incident occurring is (thankfully) fairly low.
Adding support to already existing security cameras is an excellent way to make efficient use of state & federal funding to improve school security.
While horrible, and increasing in frequency, a school shooting is still a very rare occurrence. Hopefully ZeroEyes technology never detects a weapon on any of your security cameras. During normal operations, ZeroEyes can still support school personnel in monitoring the school.
Technology Education For School Superintendents
The ZeroEyes solution requires a dedicated server box to run efficiently. 911 emergency responders can utilize the user interface to access critical information. Also, school administrators or security resource officers can have access to the mobile version for receiving alerts about the location of on-site threats. Therefore, the reach of this technology becomes widespread.
An additional desktop version of the user interface can be available on site. With this desktop version, security guards on-site can receive real-time information. Others can receive that information depending on system protocols.
How Does It Work?
This software solution “reads” the feeds from all of your cameras. The software determines when a weapon is detected through a sophisticated processing engine, and archived analytics. When a weapon is detected, an alert is delivered to inform whoever it is programmed to inform. That process all occurs in mere moments, allowing for much faster response times with more information than people have had in these situations in the past.
ZeroEyes’ machine learning and development team have spent thousands of hours “teaching” their algorithm how to detect a gun when one appears on screen. This helps the artificial intelligence get better over time.
Incorporating Into Drills
Technology education for those involved with the implementation of active shooter drills is important. Teachers, administrators, and security resource officers should all have facility with ZeroEyes technology to make active shooter drills more effective, and less invasive. Recently, drills intended to simulate reality have left physical or emotional scars on people involved. At ZeroEyes, there is a commitment to decrease anxiety, and increase empowerment for superintendents and other school officials.