Arizona company developing new technology to protect people during active shooter situations

Unfortunately, it's a sign of our times, as most people are worried about active shooter situations, especially in public places. However, a Valley company is developing some technology they hope will help protect people.

Defendry hopes their AI technology can better defend against mass shootings. They have set up a mock scenario at Highlands Church in Scottsdale, where multiple people with masks and different weapons roamed the campus, with the company’s cameras trying to track their every move.

CEO Pat Sullivan says he saw a need after shocking incidents around the country.

"The ability to be able to recognize objects is one of the major uses of Artificial Intelligence," said Sullivan. "It just struck me one day. 'Why couldn’t you see a gun in a parking lot, lock the doors, and call the police.' Something as simple as that."

The shooters are actually students in the theater program at Grand Canyon University, and the camera’s main goal is to pick up weapons and trigger an alert.

"There’s always a human in the loop, so there’s no false positives sent to the police," said Defendry's Chief Science Officer, Sean Huver. "You never have false calls. Everything’s verified by a trained security professional."

Valley police officer Tony Sanborn has been consulting the company on how to interact with law enforcement when an alarm is triggered.

"We want to be able to make sure that we have the appropriate range, so the cameras can identify the firearm at a good distance, so there’s plenty of time for all the systems to go into place. Any security staff on-site would have time to respond and be notified, and obviously, the first responders have a little more time to be notified and respond as well," said Sanborn.