Home U.S. A New Technology Could Improve Active Shooter Training

A New Technology Could Improve Active Shooter Training


By James Lint
Senior Editor for InCyberDefense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

If first responders were able to arrive at an active shooter event with a greater certainty of the incident’s location, would active shooter training become less relevant?

This question was raised last week at the International Security Conference & Exposition West in Las Vegas. As part of the exposition, Databuoy demonstrated a new technology at a shooting range on the Las Vegas Strip that can quickly and accurately determine the precise location of an active shooter.

The location of the demonstration brought to mind the Oct. 1, 2017, Mandalay Bay open-air concert massacre. This event was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and took place not far from the shooting range.

Reacting to an Active Shooter Situation Takes Considerable Time

Reacting to an active shooter situation is one of the most vexing problems for today’s first responders. At present, active shooter training is structured around a dire scenario: It takes more than 12 minutes on average for first responders to locate the shooter, and then sometimes hours to clear the shooting site so that EMS responders can go into action safely.

Databuoy Invites Veterans, Business Leaders to Witness Its Demonstration

Databuoy Corporation, a Northern Virginia-based company, develops networked sensor systems. Company founder and CEO Kathleen Griggs is a former Navy engineer and DARPA official who worked on the DARPA Warfighter Visualization, Smart Modules and Distributed Robotics programs. She had an extensive career in defense research and technology program management prior to launching Databuoy.

Griggs invited businesses leaders and veterans to the Strip Gun Club to see a demonstration of a new technology that detects and localizes gunfire. The technology was developed after a decade of basic research sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The technology is now marketed commercially as ShotPoint.

ShotPoint has the capability to accurately determine the trajectory and caliber of rifle bullets. Instant reporting of rifle trajectory data would enable a more rapid response to incidents like the Las Vegas shooting and the 2016 ambush and slaying of five Dallas, Texas, police officers; nine others were wounded in the same attack.

ShotPoint is an acoustic sensor network that uses a patented, multi-sensor fusion process to automatically detect a shooter’s location with extreme accuracy. Databuoy says the device also filters out echoes and false signals, even in the harshest environments.

Within one second of a shot being fired, ShotPoint transmits an alert to a list of subscribers, giving the time and location of the shooter. The technology simultaneously links the data to video surveillance and security management control systems.

The user application shows the location of every shot on an intuitive map or embedded floor plan. There is also annotated imagery and video clips of the shooter that subscribers can view on their mobile devices.

Responders Can Coordinate a Tactical Response Immediately

ShotPoint’s precise location and image-capturing capabilities enables responders to coordinate a tactical response from the first moments of the event and throughout a rapidly evolving situation. The technology works both outdoors and indoors.

The Strip Gun Club weapon handler, Christopher Cordoba, is a former Army infantry soldier. He showed great skill during the demonstration of ShotPoint’s capability and the simplicity of operation.

Security professionals who are looking for ways to mitigate the risk of active shooters now have a solution. ShotPoint’s clarity of information reveals critical data points from which to glean actionable intelligence. Everyone in attendance could envision changes in tactics, techniques and procedures in active shooter training due to this new technology.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 49th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. In 2017, he was appointed to the position of Adjutant for The American Legion, China Post 1. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book published in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017 “Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job