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The system uses the sound and flash of the fired gun to identify and validate each shot, reducing response times and false positives.
A newly developed portable gunshot detection system that senses firearm flashes—not just sound—may enhance law enforcements’ ability to track and neutralize outdoor shooting incidents.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate partnered with gunshot technology provider Shooter Detection Systems on the SDS Outdoor system. It builds on the firm’s Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System, which uses acoustic gunshot identification software and infrared gunfire flash detection, and is designed for events such as outdoor concerts or rallies where infrastructure support is not available, the agency said in a press announcement. The SDS Outdoor system can be installed onsite by one or two officers, eliminating the need for technicians to transport and set up the technology.
According to the DHS’ gunshot detection system fact sheet, the system has three major capabilities that improve law enforcement’s response to shootings. One is real-time alerting, which will enable officers to adjust coverage of gun-related incidents and shorten response times. Another is pre-arrival information provided by SDS Outdoor so responders can approach a scene with greater safety and awareness of the surroundings. The third is the availability of recorded data as evidence against perpetrators, leading to the apprehension and conviction of more criminals.
The SDS Outdoor prototype also “provides easy-to-use supporting software applications including file formats, active shooter event presentation, and communication channels and protocols aligned with the stated requirements,” the fact sheet stated.
According to Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the collection and dissemination of gun-related violence, there have been more than 600 mass shootings in the U.S. thus far in 2022.
“Many U.S. gunshot detection technologies are not easily deployed in the field or at temporary locations,” DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dimitri Kusnezov said in a statement. “This mobile capability will help responders approach gun violence incidents with greater awareness, reducing response times and increasing responder safety.”
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