Gun violence on public property has been weighing heavily on law enforcement officials and capitol police officers, especially after the recent riots and with the upcoming presidential inauguration. There are renewed calls to action on social media posts in recent days with vows to bring guns to Washington, DC. Now is the time for serious conversations around upgrading and modernizing security technologies in public spaces. It is important for our elected officials to feel safe when they come to the seat of government to protect our democracy.
Law enforcement agencies that guard public buildings, like the capitol building and other secured facilities, currently rely on technology like walk-through or handheld magnetometers, which detect changes in local magnetic fields. Video surveillance systems are increasingly deployed to address the challenges associated with firearm incidents, although monitoring can be difficult, unreliable and expensive. Newer technologies leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are necessary to keep pace with threats that have evolved beyond standard security measures.
Gun Detection Systems
Omnilert recently introduced the industry’s first AI-powered visual gun detection solution, which uses existing video surveillance systems to reliably and rapidly recognize firearms and immediately trigger multi-channel alerts and automated pre-defined safety protocols. Omnilert Gun Detect enables always-on monitoring and can work both inside or outside a building and with large groups of people, such as what we saw when the rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week.
Gun Detect's ability to pair with more traditional forms of surveillance and security management systems, while also augmenting security procedures for human operators, is what makes it such a significant development. The product’s greatest appeal is it's ability to support and, perhaps someday, replace current forms of facility security.
Taking it one step further, Gun Detect ties gun detection technology to building lockdown technology. If a weapon is detected, it can automatically trigger a lockdown (after verification from appointed personnel), prevent an active shooter situation and ultimately save lives.
Existing gunshot detection technologies only work after incidents have escalated and provide vague details on the approximate location of the sound. In comparison, Gun Detect gives emergency response teams advance warning before shots are fired, and delivers precise information on the location and visuals of the potential shooter. We must have technologies in place that help police and security officers prevent crimes instead of respond to it after the fact.
Mass Shootings on the Rise
The Homeland Security Research Corporation expects the market for weapons detection systems to grow to $11 billion by 2025. Factors expected to fuel the growth are the increasing incidences of shootings at schools, universities, and hospitals, as well as the increasing adoption of these systems by law enforcement agencies, especially in North America.
While the pandemic may have superseded active shooter events and mass shootings in the media, gun violence has certainly not gone away. Despite a decrease in mass gatherings, deaths due to gun violence are on the rise. AI-powered software that integrates with existing security systems, such video surveillance cameras, will begin to see greater adoption by organizations, schools, and public law enforcement officials in an effort to proactively protect their people.