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Active Shooter

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William Foos

on 6 July 2015

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Transcript of Active Shooter

An NYPD analysis of active shooters examined
324 shooting incidents
from 1966 to 2012, including
153 incidents between 2000 and 2012
The school shootings in Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Newtown have all brought attention to school safety but the tragedies continue
The majority of incidents
end prior to first responders arrival
56% of events end without ‘Applied Force’ or with shooter suicide
43% end with ‘Applied Force’ including that applied by on scene actors
Goal of the shooters is to cause casualties;
they rely on easy access to stationary, passive victims
The Problem – Active Shooters
We may not be able to prevent these events, but we do have a solution to minimize the damage:
Provide immediate notification and warning to the populace
Provide timely, detailed information to potential victims
Immediately provide actionable intelligence to first responders
Help responding personnel to act more decisively to minimize casualties
… our goal is to reduce the time the shooter has to act and increase the ability of potential victims to react appropriately during a crisis.
Our Approach
Lessons learned from sniper incidents in Bosnia in the 1990’s led to research into Shot Detection
‘Anti-Sniper’ systems developed in 2003 in reaction to urban combat in Iraq.
DARPA research led to development and deployment of the BOOMERANG microphone system – first funded in 1997 but expedited in 2003
Used widely in Iraq and Afghanistan, both stationary and mounted on vehicles to identify the source of gunfire and provide direction to soldiers or control weapon systems
GSD for Law Enforcement used in a wide-area-surveillance application for high violence neighborhoods
First employed in California in 1996, to record events, notify officers, and provide evidence for prosecution

To effectively integrate this technology for an indoor application, further research is required
History of Gunshot Detection
Uses microphones and acoustic analysis to identify the sound of agunshot and/or shock-wave from bullets flight through the air, then deliver critical data to a user or information system.

Analysis by processors identifies characteristics of the sound not perceivable by humans, and conducts complex trigonometric calculations to identify the likely location of the shooter.
Gunshot Detection (GSD) Technology
11:19 AM First shots fired from an exterior staircase down into the cafeteria entrance
11:23 AM first 911 call to report a person injured
11:25 AM Dispatch first reports “possible shots fired at Columbine High School”
By 11:30 AM, six Sheriff’s deputies had arrive and established and covered school exits on the south, west and east sides – students report various descriptions and locations, while gunshots can still be heard from inside the school
11:42 AM dispatch reports 3-4 shooters, one on the roof, two separate inside, and one possibly exited the school
11:52 AM SWAT Undersherrif authorizes SWAT on scene to make immediate entry
12:02 PM SWAT uses a fire truck to approach the building, exchange fire with shooter in the windows, make entry
12:08 PM Shooters commit suicide

[ 50 minutes from the first shot until responders to enter the building]
Columbine Shooting Timeline
7:15AM – Shooter murders female student and male RA in dorm rooms
7:17AM – Shooter head back to his residence hall to change out of bloody clothes
7:20AM – campus authority notified of injured female, caller does not identify it as a gunshot
7:24AM – responding staff identify 2x victims from gunshots
8:15AM – BOLO sent for victims boyfriend (not the shooter)
8:20AM – Shooter is seen by the duck pond across campus
9:00AM – Shooter mails manifesto to NBC news from a local post office
9:15AM – Shooter enters Norris hall, and secures the door
9:26AM – VT notify staff and students of homicide at the dorms via email
9:40AM – Shooter begins shooting in Norris hall
9:42AM – 911 call reporting shots fired
9:45AM – first officers arrive at the hall, cannot shoot through chains to enter building
9:50AM – officers make entry after using shotgun to breach locks
9:50AM – outdoor PA system announces active shooter
9:51AM – shooter commits suicide as officers reach 2nd floor
12:00PM-1:30PM – several false reports of gunshots around campus

[From first shots to officers respond to Norris Hall is 2 hours and 35 minutes]
Virginia Tech Shooting Timeline
* Note: This does not take into account the costs associated with outdoor gunshot detection application or the cost of integration labor.
Estimated Cost to Apply GSD to Public Schools
New technology only commercially available in the last five years
Technology was focused on military and law enforcement markets
Early GSD technology had high capital costs compared to other security technology
Additional studies required for using technology indoors
Why has this not been done before?
Security Management Solutions, LLC
1092 Country Club Road
Camp Hill, PA 17011


Immediate detection and notification could have significantly reduced casualties
Shooting at outer doors would have triggered system
Immediate notification to staff and police
Notification to staff as shooter entered may have allowed some classrooms to evacuate away from the shooter
Immediate notification to police could have eliminated confusion over number of shooters
9:30AM – school doors locked by security system as usual
9:30AM – staff move to front doors after hearing ‘pops’ and are killed
9:31AM – announcement over loud speakers of active shooter, shooter moves inside
9:35AM – 911 call reporting shots fired
9:38AM – school reports to 911 they are on lockdown
Teachers later report trying to call 911, confused by the event, and resorting to shelter in place
Approximately 9:50AM – officers arrive on scene, shooter commits suicide
9:53AM – officers report suspect is down, building cleared
Sandy Hook Shooting Timeline
We cannot remove all of the weapons from private hands

Identifying potential shooters prior to an event is difficult, if not impossible

Predicting these events is impossible
From 2003-2005 School Structure Fires have not resulted in any deaths.

Fire alarms do not prevent or extinguish fire – they mitigate the damages
Detecting the Fire
Identifying stage of the fire and its location
Provides timely notification
Reduces spread of the fire

We want to use this same model to reduce the impact of active shooter events
The Fire Detection Model
“Fires have killed no students in the past 50 years in North America while 48 students were killed by school violence in 1998. The number jumped to 63 in 2007 alone…We must prepare for violence like firefighters prepare for fires, any thing else is negligent…Tragedies like Columbine and Jonesboro could have been prevented if only a fraction of the money spent on fire training was diverted to violence training and protocol”
- LTC David Grossman, USA (RET)
Psychologist, researcher, author
Internationally renowned researcher on killing and violence
Current Remedies
Gun Policy
Mental Health
Law Enforcement Tactics
Workplace Violence
School Safety
Training and Awareness
Immediate detection and notification could have significantly reduced casualties:
Immediate lock down to restrict movement
Immediate notification of police
Immediate notification to allow personnel to evacuate away from the shooters
Clear information on number of shoots fired, location of shooter provided to first responders
Could eliminate over 40 minutes spent notifying, responding, gathering intelligence, resolving information conflicts, and making an entrance
Immediate detection and notification could have significantly reduced casualties
Shooting in dorms could have locked down other buildings
Could have resulted in immediate response to dorms
Potentially could have interdicted shooter prior to accessing classes – eliminating access to the other 47 victims
Eliminate over 2hour delay in public notification
Possible Benefits of GSD Integration
Possible Benefits of GSD Integration
Possible Benefits of GSD Integration
Public School Safety Enhancement Program: Integration of Gunshot Detection Technology
Security Management Solutions, LLC

Primary maintenance cost for GSD is labor to conduct testing. The systems are designed with military standards to operate in austere conditions, and have shown no maintenance failures during testing and deployment
For a single story school of 150,000 square feet:
Cost Comparison
December 1st, 1958 - Our Lady of the Angels School, Chicago, IL
92 Children and 3 nuns perished
Full transcript