Bucks County high school uses new security camera system to detect guns

Tim Jimenez
November 10, 2018 - 11:59 pm

Dreamstime

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A school in Bucks County is the first in the nation to use an artificial intelligence security camera system that would recognize an active shooter before any shots are fired.

For about a month now, Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster has been using a camera system that instantly detects guns in the building. 

"This is just another layer. It's more being proactive than reactive," said school president Gary Zim-maro. "I hope we never have to use it."

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Athena Security, in Austin, Texas, installed the system. One of the company's founders is Chris Ciabarra, the son of a longtime Archbishop Wood teacher. The other founder is Lisa Falzone. Both have strong backgrounds in the tech world, and Falzone says they were inspired to come up with this system when the Las Vegas mass shooting happened last year. 

So, how does it work? 

The security company says the system relies on object and motion detection that recognizes guns. So, if someone pulls one out, there's an alert and real-time images can be sent over to police in about three seconds. The potential shooter also hears a message that the cops are coming. 

That's different from other systems, which rely on people to constantly watch monitors. Athena officials say their way also cuts back on false alarms.