Billings company Shot Tracer has developed technology that can easily be installed in schools and other public buildings.
The devices will detect gunfire and within seconds notify anyone with the app including local police. The app will update a shooters locations as additional shots are fired.
The devices are small, and the housing looks similar to a ceiling mounted smoke detector. The devices work together as shots are fired to triangulate a shooter’s location. They do this by detecting a sound wave and the pressure wave when a gun is fired.
President and CEO Allan Overcast demonstrated the technology for KULR-8 Friday. In an insulated room, Overcast fired a small handgun into a target. Just a moment after the gun was fired the device sent a message to the mobile app announcing a shot had been fired and from where the shot had been fired.
Overcast says the system would cost about $25,000 to install in an average school. That’s a lot of money for school systems to fork out, especially for larger systems with dozens of school buildings.
But Overcast says that’s a small amount to pay when the federal government averages out that over a lifetime a person is worth just north of $7 million.
While there are no schools in Yellowstone County adopting the technology at this time, Faith Evangelical in Billings is installing a system. Overcast expects to have the system installed and active in June.
Overcast says he has had interest from schools in the Bozeman area, but couldn’t speak to specifics at this time.
Overcast points to Friday’s shooting in Santa Fe, Texas as the latest example of why technology like Shot Tracer should be required to be installed in all schools.
Overcast says he isn’t trying to capitalize on this mass shooting incident. The technology has been available for a few years now. He says he is just tired of seeing so many of these incidents and want’s the public to know there is technology that could help save lives.
Our technology would have within one second of the first gunshot activated the school’s alarm system, Within seconds it would have sent to 911 the exact room the shooting is happening in. Within 10 seconds indicated that it was a multiple shooting. Within 30 seconds the surrounding medical facilities would be alerted of the mass shooting. There is low-cost technology already available that would turn the chaos of a mass shooting into a much faster deployed organized response.
While Overcast admits that his technology would not stop a shooting from happening, as a gun must be fired for his system to work, he feels it would be a step in the right direction.
Overcast gives an example of a different school technology from 60 years ago. Overcast points to the Our Lady of the Angels school fire of December 1, 1958. 95 people died in that fire.
After that fire, communities across the country adopted new drills and technology. There hasn’t been a school death as a result of fire since.
Overcast says he just wants to see school systems adopt and install the technology from any company that can provide it because he’s convinced it works.