Michigan school district installs gunshot sensors, alert stations

Posted at 1:23 PM, Sep 07, 2018

A Michigan school district has installed a new $156,000 security system designed to help protect students in the event of an active shooter.

Glen Lake Community Schools approved the new system following the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead, said Marcus Mead, the district's administration and instructional technology director.

The district, serving the communities of Cedar, Empire, Glen Arbor and Maple City, installed alert stations similar to fire alarms in classrooms and hallways. If a person pulls the alarm, an alert will sound and police will be notified.

"We wanted it so that no one would have to leave a classroom to pull an alarm," Mead said. "That it would be right there at your fingertips and we want that visible to our students, our community members, and train them so that anyone can pull the alarm."

Gunshot sensors have also been installed because people don't always recognize the sound of gunshots, he said. The sensors are similar to smoke detectors and will set off an alarm at the sound of a gunshot.

"We didn't want to have a single point of failure for a system," Mead said. "We wanted our system to be redundant enough that in a crisis and in an emergency if our plan A doesn't work, we got option B."

The new system combines technology from BluePoint's Rapid Emergency Response System and Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System.

Shooter Detection Systems CEO Christian Connors said Glen Lake is the first district in Michigan to adopt its shot detection sensors.

Glen Lake's next step involves conducting emergency drills using the new technologies, district officials said.