Category: School Security

Sam With Toy Gun
News School Security

Weapons Detection Is “Eye Opening”

Weapons Detection Technology
A recent article in the Intelligencer, “Area school districts eyeing up weapons detection systems” provides great insight into the ZeroEyes solution. Writer Christian Menno covers the story. There is a clear need for added layers of security within school systems now. A growing trend of active shooter scenarios and rising anxiety about such events is the root cause. Weapons detection technology makes it possible for school officials to have greater situational awareness than ever before.

Menno’s article covers a recent demonstration ZeroEyes performed for Access Security. ZeroEyes’ Dustin Brooks and Sam Alaimo are both former Navy SEALs. This military experience uniquely equips the ZeroEyes team to address these dangerous situations. Brooks says, “We know what an active shooter scenario looks like…we know what these people involved are thinking and how they feel.” This is their greatest differentiator compared to other weapons detection solutions on the market.
Putting Weapons Detection To The Test
One of the challenges with this kind of technology is being able to test it’s accuracy. For the last several months, ZeroEyes has been developing its machine learning algorithm at Rancocas Valley Regional High School. Periodically the ZeroEyes team shows up on site with plastic guns they show to existing security cameras. In addition, the images are processed in real time using ZeroEyes AI software. From these images, the machine learns how to better detect weapons on camera. Over time the AI becomes stronger, and better able to perform its function.

One of the integral parts of this detection system are the alerts. ZeroEyes’ system is not only able to identify weapons, but they can capture information and send it to the appropriate authorities. The information a security camera captures includes things like: the number of shooters, what weapons they have, where they are located, where they are going, etc. This is vital information for first responders or on-site security officers. However, without that kind of intelligence, people are largely moving blind. Therefore, this new kind of data could save seconds, which can save lives.
Seconds Matter
One of the attendees at the demonstration was Val Ridge, Bensalem’s safety and security coordinator. Previously, Ridge was a Bensalem police officer for about 11 years. Ridge said,
“If we can provide that one extra layer of security, I’m looking for it…these guys have lived it. They know it. Seconds matter. They understand what those seconds mean.”
Another impressed attendee was Tony Keokham, Neshaminy’s Facilities Supervisor. He referred to weapons detection as the “first line of defense.” It is definitely not the sole or only line of defense, but it can provide a tremendous amount of security and peace of mind.

Posted by Rob Huberty
Security Camera Looking Up
AI Detection News School Security ZeroEyes in the News

Discussing Gun Detection Tech With WBIR NBC 10

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.”

Posted by Rob Huberty
School Security

Practicing Being Empathetic

Practicing Being Empathetic
There is a clear correlation between school shootings and a lack of an empathetic environment. Many school shooters have a history of behavioral problems, mental health issues, and feelings of alienation. Some were abused at home. Moreover, this kind of neglect appears to be a root cause, and leading indicator of these kinds of violent offenders. Stopping any future school shooting is a noble and worthwhile task. However, it is impossible to predict when one will occur. That is why it is so important for education to focus on developing empathetic practices to develop students and faculty.
What Does Being Empathetic Look Like?
Elliot D. Cohen Ph.D. wrote about improving relationships in her article “How to Be Empathetic.” Not everybody is naturally empathetic. Therefore, we need to also have patience for those who are learning how to relate better to others. Cohen discusses the difference between understanding empathy as a state of mind compared to a character trait. He says, “As a state of mind, empathy involves resonating with what is going on in the subjective world of another.” In other words, can you actually comprehend how another person is viewing the world.

Whether or not you agree with it. You may be adamantly opposed to their subjective view of the world. But being empathetic as a state of mind involves being able to at least wrap your head around another person’s view of the world.

As a character trait, Cohen describes empathy being a more natural or typical state of mind. This formulation can be useful in identifying somebody’s ability or capacity for being empathetic towards another. If a person can only muster empathy as a (temporary) state of mind they may need support in developing it as a character trait. Those with empathetic tendencies as a character trait may be best suited to help develop others to have the same character trait.
Laura Click’s 31 Statements To Practice
Laura Click is an entrepreneur, marketer, and writer. She published an article on Medium regarding how people can practice being more empathetic. For those who have empathy as a character trait these kinds of statements may be naturally infused in their dialogue. Similarly, for those who are developing their state of mind to be more frequently empathetic, these maybe conversation starters to keep in mind.

Examples from Click’s article:

“I’m in your corner.”
“I’m proud of you.”
“What has this been like for you?”

Empathetic Leadership
In a school system, empathetic leadership could lead to a safer environment. Students can stand out by being kind to those who are bullied around them. Simple acts of kindness can go a long way for somebody who feels dejected or outcasted. But it should not be the students’ responsibilities to make their schools safer. It is up to teachers to look out for their students. Furthermore, administrators too must find new ways to relate to young people. Regardless of the challenges we face, joining together and understanding each other makes a difference.

Posted by Rob Huberty
Security Guard
AI Detection School Security

Helping Security Guards With Situational Awareness

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.

Posted by Rob Huberty
School Students Safety
AI Detection School Security

Pennsylvania School Safety Bills Being Introduced

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.

Posted by Rob Huberty
Stop Sign
School Security

What Can We Do To Stop School Shootings?

How Can We Stop School Shootings?
Unfortunately, there is definitely not a single answer for how to stop school shootings. As a society we need to look at how we are treating ourselves and each other. Recently there was another act of senseless violence in Colorado. One mother spoke to CNN to discuss her experience. You can read the full article about Cami Brainard here. Her son was in school when a shooting spree erupted. “…he’s going to be scarred for the rest of his life,” Cami says. Too often people do not consider the emotional toll on those who survive these kinds of incidents.
The Root Cause Is Social
Investigate most cases of school shooters and you will find teenage boys who are bullied, abused, or otherwise socially outcasted. In some instances technology exacerbates already existing social problems. However, it is also possible that technology can help to stop another school shooting in the future. It is incumbent upon education and security professionals to bridge the gap to find interdisciplinary solutions. While this seems to be common knowledge, there are still people who are getting lost or disregarded within the education system. Those individuals who feel the most hopeless deserve help.
Everybody Wants To Stop School Shootings
All sides of the political spectrum want to create a safer environment for young people in schools. The methods or means to do so are what is under debate. While some feel comfortable having armed teachers or security officials in schools, that may not work everywhere. There is a real opportunity for politicians who may otherwise be opponents, to come together to solve this issue together.
Gun Detection Is A Critical Component
There is no magic pill that can solve this problem. Gun detection is a critical component to stop school shootings because it provides better situational awareness for first responders and security professionals. A facility can become immediately more efficient at providing key information during the unfortunate event an active shooter engages on campus with gun detection technology.

Posted by Rob Huberty
Old Gun With Camera
AI Detection School Security

Weapons Detection – Podcast Conversation

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.

Posted by Rob Huberty
School Security

What Is The Guardian Program? Why Gun Detection Matters

A Guardian Program May Be Coming To Your School Soon
If you’re not familiar with what the “Guardian Program” is, this quick read will help you. The guardian program in Florida allows for teachers who complete a 144 hour training program to carry a gun in the classroom. A bill will be signed into law making this effective soon.

Then it will roll out fully into more school districts.

That means whether you agree with it or not, there may soon be armed teachers in schools. This program may eventually extend to your region, if you are not a resident of Florida. It is not this company’s purpose to debate gun ownership rights. The fact is that the threat of a school shooting is both very real, and terrifying for all involved. May we never have another one of these scenarios again.

You can read more on this topic in this article from Reuters.

Time also covered the topic in April of this year.
Gun Detection Is A Must Now
With the prospect of armed teachers becoming a reality, gun detection should be an obvious part of the school security discussion. If any unauthorized person with a gun is on-site at a school, there must be an alarm and alert system capable of informing the proper authorities. Teachers with guns are an absolute last resort for protecting our nation’s students. By giving police and first responders better situational awareness, gun detection can help save valuable time.
The Root Is Deeper
It is downright awful that we have to come up with solutions to stop school shootings. The horror that thousands of people have endured in this realm is unfathomable. Legislation is not the end of the conversation. There is a much more deeply rooted issue at play for young people socially. In many instances school shooters have been bullied, abused, or otherwise neglected. For school superintendents, parents, and educators in general – more must be done to connect.

In a world of constant communication, and the instant gratification of social media – it is important to slow down and listen to each other. Throughout discussions of what measures should be taken on a security level, we must not lose sight of the general problems we’re dealing with here. Finding ways to engage with students, foster collaboration, and alleviate stress appropriately is key. Everybody is different, too. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for creating a healthy environment for your school.

It is painful for people who have survived these incidents, and it is challenging to even attempt to make a difference. But we have to. We have to work together to figure out how to take better care of each other. Hopefully we can find a way forward that creates a better world for everyone.

Posted by Rob Huberty
School Security

Empathy vs. Sympathy Comparison

What’s The Difference Between Empathy & Sympathy Really? While empathy is the understanding and feeling of somebody’s position, sympathy has a few common definitions or general uses which differentiate it from empathy. One definition for sympathy is “feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.” The other definition is “understanding between people; common feeling.” Seeing this may not shock you, but it requires investigation for school officials that are looking for ways to connect to young people today. First let’s assess the key differences between empathy & sympathy. Empathy Is From One To Another Empathy is when you’re understanding another person’s perspective & experience, or you’re actually feeling some part of it. If somebody is physically hurt, with a cut knee, for example. Empathy would be understanding “this person’s knee is cut.” As a result of that you may choose to act, for example, getting them a band-aid. If somebody tells me that they are sad about ending a romantic relationship, I may be able to empathically recall a similar situation I was in, and “feel” some of that emotional distress. Sympathy Has Conflicting Uses On the one hand, a sympathetic “common feeling” among 2 people can be a very good thing. It is a positive experience for most people to have the same feelings as another person because it binds us together. However, having “feelings of pity and sorrow” for another person can have adverse effects. First of all, just because somebody else is having “misfortune,” does not mean that they are sorrowful for themselves. They also may not have self-pity. Empathy Can Lead To Sympathy If you are empathic towards somebody’s misfortune, that means you have an understanding of it – intellectually. Moving from intellectually understanding to emotionally experiencing pity, sorrow, or a common shared feeling requires a deft & skilled individual. This is why guidance counselors in schools, psychologists, and other mental health professionals are so important. They provide people with empathy, sympathy, and a remedy. They are also able to separate themselves from an individual without adopting a shared upsetting experience. Supporting People Who Need Both Young people today have challenges they have to face which many of the older generations did not. With technology like social media and cell phones, it is easier than ever to have a negative body image, and harder to stop bullying. Young people are feeling much more lonely, anxious, and depressed – at an alarming rate. These are factors that contribute to the conditions present in potential and actual school shooters. It is important that students have empathetic listeners, and professional sympathetic support if necessary.  There is no simple solution. But practicing listening carefully, and being interested in those who get left behind socially can be a start. Request a Quote
Posted by Rob Huberty
AI Detection School Security

Your Security Cameras Can Be Even More Useful

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.
Comparing Alternatives
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.
Added Value
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.

Posted by Rob Huberty