As we see mass shootings continuing around the world, a new system at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus could provide a quicker police response to emergencies like shootings. The form of technology is new to college campuses in the area and is aimed at increasing student safety in case of an active shooter.
The new gunshot detection system is catching on at different schools and public venues. Some of this technology was developed in Albuquerque and the engineers behind it hope to make a difference in public safety.
As school shootings become more mainstream, law enforcement at UNM-Valencia Campus is trying to prevent them through new technology.
“With the publicity around the country and the incidences taking place, and just the fact that we feel our students need a very safe, secure environment to operate out of, and to get their education,” said Rick Goshorn, Director of Business Operations at UNM-Valencia Campus.
The EAGL system, or Emergency Automated Gunshot and Lockdown, uses sound energy to determine exactly where a gun has been fired.
“It senses, basically, the sonic wave of the round, can detect immediately where it is and any building, whether it’s on the first or second floor and can generally tell us what caliber the gun is,” said Goshorn.
The system then sends out an alert to local police and students to let them know where the suspect is. Law enforcement officers say it’s a powerful tool they can use.
“Our job is to, in the event of an emergency such as this, to locate, isolate, contain, and eliminate such an active threat as a shooter on campus,” said Brian Killinger, Interim Command Officer at UNM-Valencia Campus.
The creators behind this gunshot detection technology think it could eventually be mandatory in public buildings, similar to fire alarms.
“In the ’50s, there was no fire alarm in buildings and then it became mandatory for every building,” said Boaz Raz, CEO of EAGL Technology. “Today, unfortunately, the risk of having a gunshot in a building is higher than having a fire. I believe that eventually, this technology is going to be mandatory for all public buildings.”
The system has already been installed in a number of schools, airports and corporations.
For an average-sized school, it costs around $25,000 to install the EAGL system. For larger-scale venues like airports, arenas and universities, that number can grow even more.
The company was inspired to create the gunshot detection system following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.