Police in Massachusetts respond to a simulated school shooting using wartime technology, which has just been introduced at a school in Massachusetts. Vanessa Johnston reports.
A man fires a gun in a school hallway... ...the source of the shots is identified by the Guardian Active Shooter Detection System...and police go in. The technology, which uses infrared and acoustic sensors to detect muzzle flashes, has been adapted from a system used by the U.S. military in war zones. And after a spate of deadly mass shootings -- including the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- it's now being demonstrated and marketed to schools across the country. Shooter Detection Systems President and CEO, Christian Connors, says the goal is to speed up the police response time. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRISTIAN CONNORS, SHOOTER DETECTION SYSTEMS PRESIDENT AND CEO, SAYING: "As the FBI report that just came out recently mentioned, it can take up to 18 minutes, 12 to 18 minutes for the police to be able to arrive. If you look at the interviews of children who have been involved in these incidents, a lot of times they say I thought it was a book that dropped, I thought it was a car backfiring, I thought someone hit a piece of metal in a locker. So they don't call the police right away." Some may question the use of war technology in schools. But Judy Scannell, of the Methuen Public Schools system near Boston, says it's a necessary evil. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JUDY SCANNELL, METHUEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT, SAYING: "It's a sad statement. I'm the first to say that. But again the world has changed and we have to think outside the box. And again, it's all about protecting the students and staff." The system comes with a hefty price tag though -- for a school of Methuen's size, between 50,000 and 100,000 dollars, although Connors says, that's a small price to pay for students' safety.