Government Technology

Gunshot Detection System Arms Johns Hopkins University



January 20, 2009 By

Johns Hopkins University, located in Baltimore, now has the capability to track gunshots at its Homewood campus and the off-site Charles Village neighborhood where many of the school's students and employees reside. The Homewood campus -- which according to the university's Web site, is its main academic and administrative center -- doesn't include the health system, which is located in east Baltimore.

Launched in November 2008, the gunshot detection system is composed of 93 sensors that are installed on city-owned streetlights and off-campus university buildings. The sensors detect the acoustic signature from a gunshot and wirelessly transmit the information to a receiving station. According to the press release, the information is then forwarded over a secure network to the communication center, and this process takes three to five seconds. Located at the campus communication center is a 40-inch LCD screen that displays the gunshot's location and the nearest address and building for dispatch.

"They have these little boxes on the streetlights on the perimeter of the campus, and those boxes detect any gunshots and relay it back to another building where our security is located," said Tracey Reeves, a spokeswoman for the university. "And they have the TV screens there, and if a red flash comes up, then the call goes to the Baltimore City Police."

Campus security officers -- who are unarmed and therefore unable to respond to possible shootings -- report the information to the Baltimore Police Department.

"Working together with the Baltimore Police Department, I believe that this new addition to our security measures will benefit our campus population as well as our neighbors in the surrounding area," said Edmund Skrodzki, executive director of campus safety and security at the Homewood campus, in the press release. "By allowing us to identify gunshot occurrences accurately, we can give the Baltimore Police Department the ability to respond quickly, to give aid to victims as well as to apprehend the criminals. Being proactive and using the best technology tools available often deters crime, enhancing the safety and security of our students and our community."

Skrodzki also said the system has a 90 percent accuracy rate and a false-positive rate of 7 percent. Reeves said the system has yet to report any gunshots, but has had two false alarms -- in each instance it reported the sound of a car backfiring.

 


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Cybersecurity in an "All-IP World" Are You Prepared?
In a recent survey conducted by Public CIO, over 125 respondents shared how they protect their environments from cyber threats and the challenges they see in an all-IP world. Read how your cybersecurity strategies and attitudes compare with your peers.
Maintain Your IT Budget with Consistent Compliance Practices
Between the demands of meeting federal IT compliance mandates, increasing cybersecurity threats, and ever-shrinking budgets, it’s not uncommon for routine maintenance tasks to slip among state and local government IT departments. If it’s been months, or even only days, since you have maintained your systems, your agency may not be prepared for a compliance audit—and that could have severe financial consequences. Regardless of your mission, consistent systems keep your data secure, your age
Best Practice Guide for Cloud and As-A-Service Procurements
While technology service options for government continue to evolve, procurement processes and policies have remained firmly rooted in practices that are no longer effective. This guide, built upon the collaborative work of state and local government and industry executives, outlines and explains the changes needed for more flexible and agile procurement processes.
View All

Featured Papers