Crime Watch 8

Devices to pinpoint gunfire at Lawrence Township Schools

New device protects Lawrence students during active shooting

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — A new device will change the way law enforcement responds to active shootings in schools.

Lawrence Township Schools will soon have a gunshot detection and location reporting system called Active Shooter Response.

The district will be the first in the nation to use the technology that alerts law enforcement of an active shooter within two minutes. It will help protect 16,000 students in the district. Active Shooter Response will be in every classroom and hallway of every school.

Ted Davis, CEO of Georgia-based manufacturer BodyWorn by Utility Inc., said the normal response time to a school shooting is about 18 minutes. “It’s shocking. You would expect it to be less than that, but there is a lot of confusion and you don’t have the situational awareness that you would need to respond more quickly. It’s a very large campus, and you don’t know exactly where to go.”

The device detects the sound of a gunshot and sends instant communication to 911 dispatch and police officers. It’s also a GPS that pinpoints the shooter’s exact location.

“It comes back and it says not only is that a gunshot, but that is a AR-15, it’s a 2-2-3 round that’s being fired,” Davis said. “So, we can allow the police to have a better idea of what they’re up against.”

Lawrence Police Chief David Hofmann said, “If a map pops up on this phone when they’re approaching a school and they can see that the most recent gunshot was in the northeast corner of the building, then they (officers) don’t have to walk through the entire south side of the building or the gymnasium; they go directly to the northeast side of that school.”

Every Active Shooter Response is free for Lawrence Township Schools. Davis said they’re looking for sponsors to help get the cost down to $10,000 per school.

“My expectations is you could have a fund drive, you can have a GoFundMe type of page, and the schools can be paid for without having to be concerned about $150,000 a school, which is not accomplishable.”

The Active Shooter Response devices will be installed at each Lawrence Township Schools in early 2020.