Methuen Tests School Shooter Detection System

Officials are praising a school gunfire detection test by the Methuen Police Department Tuesday which included a “live active shooter police drill” at a public school building.

A “first in the nation” test of the “Guardian Indoor Active” systemwas installed and brought online by Rowley-based Shooter Detection Systems at an undisclosed Methuen school building. Comments from Methuen school parents and others ranged from “a great level of protection for the kids and teachers” to “as a parent, (it makes) you feel better that students are safe in school. Hopefully all schools will have this.”

“In the 1990s, we began creating safety plans for our schools that include emergency evacuation and lockdown criteria, and by 2002, we had already started training our school resource officers and patrol force on school violence crisis response procedures, but there was always the added danger of an active shooter, roaming a large and complex building, which officers then had to search, room-by-room,” said Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon. “With Shooter Detection Systems’ Guardian, our officers know exactly where the shooter is, how many shots were fired and, if the shooter is moving to different areas of the building, it would save several minutes in a real-life situation, and that could mean dozens of lives saved.”

According to the manufacturer, the system:

  • Sends an alert within a second of a gunshot detection
  • Has near zero false alerts
  • Immediately alerts building and emergency personnel
  • Easily integrates into any camera/security network

“Today we demonstrated the Guardian System’s ability to immediately detect a shot fired inside a school and alert the proper authorities and school officials. If this had been an actual emergency situation, the school could have automatically initiated their evacuation and lockdown procedures, and many lives could have been saved,” said Christian Connors, chief executive officer of Shooter Detection Systems.

Methuen School Superintendent Judith Scannell said, “Safety is the primary concern for all superintendents of schools. I am pleased to be the first school system in the nation to have this innovative new system.”

The event was attended by a wide variety of law enforcement and government officials, including chiefs of police from across New England and police officers from as far away as New Jersey and New Hampshire.