A Massachusetts company with an office in San Diego has created a technology they say can detect a gunshot within one second.
"Most active shootings only last seven minutes or less,” Doug Tompkins with Shooter Detection Systems told NBC 7.
The recent mass shooting in Parkland Florida lasted less than 10 minutes. By the time authorities reached the school the shooter was already gone.
Once a gunshot goes off, a camera pops on to identify what the shooter looks like and where the shooter is. A notification is also sent immediately to law enforcement.
"Say for instance in a school district kids on their cellphones would instantly get a message there's a shooter on property. They'd know exactly with instructions what to do," Tompkins added.
The system made sense for Freddie Chavez of the Carlsbad company Aethercomm, Inc. Aethercomm designed part of the sensor that detects both the acoustic sound of gunfire and a weapons' muzzle flash. "It's all about time on site and notification,” Chavez said.
Tompkins said it has a “zero false alert” rate. Aethercomm now uses the Shooter Detection System to protect its building from threats.
"Knowing we took that extra precaution gives us the confidence that if something should unfortunately occur that we have the proper procedures in place to deter that threat," Chavez said.
The technology was originally used in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect troops on the ground and in the air, from snipers.
"We took the outdoor technology which is military technology and it's battle tested and he turned it into an indoor system,” Tompkins added.
Locally, Shooter Detection Systems are deployed at some government agencies, businesses and a private school in San Diego. The San Diego Police Department uses a gunshot detection system in several neighborhoods to automatically alert them to shootings even if no one calls.
"It's like the modern day smoke detector, it sits on the wall, it waits and it’s going to save lives,” Tompkins said. The system costs $10,000 to 60,000, depending on the size of the building it’s protecting. Shooter Detection Systems hopes to install the technology in schools across California.