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School system first in Virginia with full gunshot detection

December 16, 2020 GMT

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — A public school system in Virginia recently received a $200,000 award, giving them all the funding they need to become the first school division in the state to have a gunshot detection system in all of their buildings.

T.J. Slaughter, Martinsville City Public Schools’ director of school safety and emergency management, announced the award Monday at a school board meeting, the Martinsville Bulletin reported.

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He had said in 2019 that the school system received about $100,000 in funds from the state and other sources. But it wasn’t enough for the job, Slaughter said, so Clearview Early Childhood Center didn’t get the detection system.

With the new funding, the system can now be implemented in all the schools. The equipment can recognize the sound of a gunshot and the weapon that fired the shot, the newspaper reported.

The detection system “sends notification to 911 and to law enforcement’s cell phones,” Slaughter said. “It’s mass notification, and it takes out the human element.”

Slaughter said officials will also replace school radios, and cameras on school buses and at a high school.