Fort Smith School District upgrading security cameras with AI weapon detection system – Yahoo News

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fort Smith Public Schools are turning to artificial intelligence weapon detection systems to keep their staff and your kids safe on school grounds.

The district already has police officers serving on all school campuses.

Martin Mahan, deputy superintendent of Fort Smith Public Schools, says this is just one more tool to help keep students and staff safe.

The systems will be installed in existing cameras for all Fort Smith schools and administration buildings.

“This is a very important safety measure. But it’s just one component of several,” Mahan said.

He says the district is partnering with Zero Eyes for this plan.

According to the company’s website, it delivers a proactive human-verified visual gun detection to stop mass shootings and gun-related violence.

It was founded in 2018 by a team of navy seals and elite technologists after an active shooter came to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

Mahan says the software system allows the security service to track the specific location of a weapon.

Arkansas schools adapt to future education with AI integration

“As long as we have that threat under the lens of one of these equipped cameras,” Mahan said.

If a weapon is detected, Mahan says the system will notify school personnel and school resource officers immediately.

“After it’s been assessed by military and police experienced personnel at an outsource place,” Mahan said.

As far as where the cameras will be, you won’t know.

“We speak generally about the location of the camera system because that’s something we will keep internal just to allow our system to be very safe,” Manhan said.

He says the new system costs $156,000 a year and has a five-year protection warranty.

“If it’s something we feel like is a worthwhile investment, we’ll continue on an annual basis to continue to use this partnership,” Mahan said.

Other local districts have also turned to technology with staff and student safety in mind.

According to Jason Ivester with Rogers Public Schools, the district uses facial recognition on cameras in highly populated areas such as lobbies, entry points, and gymnasiums.

“We also have cameras throughout our buildings that can use appearance search. This allows the system to monitor and track an individual through the building based on physical characteristics — clothing, for example,” he said.

Over the next five years, Mahan says Fort Smith Public Schools will continue looking into ways to keep those on campus safe.

“We’ll look at how technology changes over that year, and we’ll look at costs, we’ll look at staffing costs,” he said. “We’ll assess each of those next five years, one year at a time to see if we want to add weapon detection systems in the form of a metal detector or an AI system, entries to arenas and stadiums or AI or metal detecting systems at the entrances to our secondary campuses.”

Mahan says the goal is to have the AI weapon detection systems up and operating in August.

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