Local police test out new security equipment to deter a school shooter

Local law enforcement is putting new technology to the test to protect against a school shooter.

Gunshot detection was part of the new technology tested at John Wood Community College on Tuesday. 

Quincy Police Officers and Adams County Sheriff’s Deputies fired rounds as hidden microphones, which are part of the new technology, picked up the sounds.

Analytic teams listen to the microphones so they can hear what a gunshot sounds like at 20 meters, 15 meters and 10 meters from the front door of a building. 

"People adapt to what we have in place sometimes and we have to stay ahead of that," said Paul Havermale with Alarm Systems Incorporated. 

Havermale says teams with Honeywell are looking to upgrade the security already in place at John Wood with more advanced systems, including an automatic alarm.  It sounds the moment a shooter fires the first shot. The building’s doors lock and law enforcement are notified immediately.

"You lose so much time in that initial lag between the information and the officers getting there so this is a type of system that would eliminate that entire lag problem," said Sgt. Adam Yates with the Quincy Police Department. "It would get law enforcement on the way right away so that we can get there that much faster and try to stop the problem."

The enhanced security would continue inside the building as well. Havermale says the software allows cameras to detect the shape of a weapon, even the movements of a potential shooter. Plus, the software is compatible with the equipment the college already has.

"It will leverage existing infrastructure as far as video and access systems that are in place," said Havermale. "That way you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to get enhanced protection."

Honeywell representatives say the software tested at John Wood on Tuesday would cost around $10,000 to $15,000. 

No word yet on when the testing phase will be complete. However, officials at John Wood say when the new software hits the market they will be one of the first schools to install it. 

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