Active shooter detection systems recommended by Senate for UMass

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The Senate on Tuesday tacked onto its budget a directive for the University of Massachusetts to study the feasibility of installing on every campus a system to detect gunfire and alert the authorities.

The amendment filed by West Roxbury Sen. Michael Rush requires the UMass system to look into installing “an indoor active shooter detection and reporting system in all student accessible buildings on all University of Massachusetts campuses” and report back by March 2017.

Rush said the technology, which is used in Boston and other urban areas across the state, can detect a gunshot and send an alert to the proper authorities in “less than a second.” The technology also exists, he said, to pinpoint the exact location of a shooter, which could assist police as they respond to an incident.

“This technology means lives can be saved,” Rush told his colleagues during budget debate Tuesday.

Since 2014, there have been 44 shootings on or near college campuses that have resulted in death or injury to another person, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that advocates for gun reform and has been tracking every school shooting since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Rush’s amendment requires UMass to report to the Legislature by March 1, 2017 on the “cost analysis of installing this system on a per campus basis, … cost estimates and plans received from outside vendors who specialize in such a system” and “recommendations and implementation project plans to place the system in operation.”

The amendment was adopted on a voice vote of the Senate.

— Colin A. Young

Copyright State House News Service