Michigan K–12 District Selects AI-Based Gun Detection Security Platform
- By Matt Jones
- September 19, 2022
Vassar Public Schools in Vassar, Mich., recently selected an AI-based gun detection platform in an effort to prevent and mitigate active shooter events, according to a news release. The district will partner with ZeroEyes to install proprietary software that can automatically detect guns as soon as they become visible and that can alert both safety personnel and school administrators within 3–5 seconds.
The school district is located about 45 minutes away from Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., the site of an active shooter incident in November 2021. That event is what prompted Vassar Public Schools to begin searching for an extra layer of security to protect students and faculty against potential gun violence, the news release reports.
“We are proud to partner with the forward-looking district of Vassar Public Schools to protect students and save lives,” said Mike Lahiff, CEO and co-founder of ZeroEyes. “I will add that Michigan’s Act 144 includes a school aid bill that allocates $160 per every student towards security technology, but the three-to-four-week deadline is quickly approaching for districts to opt in for it. ZeroEyes’ solution only costs 15% to 30% of the available state funding, depending on volume, so we highly recommend that parents encourage their district superintendents to fill out the web form and claim their slice of the aid. In fact, any Michigan school that opts in for ZeroEyes today can have the solution installed immediately and pay later when they receive their funding.”
The news release reports that ZeroEyes is the creator of the only AI-based gun detection video analytics platform that holds the U.S. Department of homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation. The organization was founded by a group of former Navy SEAL team leaders, and its platform has been implemented in 19 states across public K–12 districts.
“ZeroEyes is not just an AI solution; the company has retired military and law enforcement experts monitoring every single suspicious frame 24 hours a day,” said Vassar Public Schools Superintendent Dorothy Blockwell. “This is a huge deal. It is the only solution we have encountered that’s actually proactive. We have expert eyes watching for possible brandished guns at the school at all times and communicating threats to law enforcement immediately. When I look at the time and effort that ZeroEyes puts into protecting our students, I’m very excited about what we’re getting for our money.”
The district will layer the ZeroEyes solution on top of its existing security cameras. The software integrates with a school’s existing IP security cameras and video analytics for real-time gun detection analysis. ZeroEyes staff is made up of former U.S. military and law enforcement specialists who monitor each detection—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—from an in-house ZeroEyes Operations Center, and they provide actionable intelligence on potential active shooter incidents including the suspect’s appearance, clothing, weapon, and real-time location, the news release reports.