Battelle Debuts Active Shooter Response System

A global non-profit research and development organization has taken on the challenge of identifying when an active shooter situation has begun and how building occupants and public safety people should respond. Battelle recently tested its SiteGuard Active Shooter Response system in a high school that is part of the Reynoldsburg City Schools district, near Columbus, OH. The new product blends the use of on-site sensors and software to detect the danger and kick off a series of activities intended to lessen the impact of the crime.

SiteGuard ASR uses sensors and software to identify shots, locate them and send automated messages to 9-1-1 dispatch and building occupants. At the core of the product is Battelle's SiteGuard monitoring and control system, which allows for integration of life safety and security sensors and different building control systems.

The organization said that when the new software is integrated with building video systems, it can help public safety people track the path of the shooter and notify occupants to seek cover or evacuate. In the future the program will include two-way voice communication to allow police to talk with the shooters or the building occupants. An optional feature will also enable the automated or remote closing and locking of doors to limit the shooter's access.

"While we may not be able to prevent these tragic shootings, we can give law enforcement technology that helps them respond more safely and effectively," said Ed Jopeck, a senior program manager for Battelle who specializes in security. He predicted that with time these kinds of systems could be as common as smoke detectors or fire safety valves are now.

Reynoldsburg High School initially tested the Battelle program in May 2014. Since then the software has been further developed and tested again in the summer.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.