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Homeland Security develops recent portable gunshot detection system

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The Department of Homeland Security said its Science and Technology Directorate has developed a conveyable gunshot detection system in collaboration with the Massachusetts-based Shooter Detection Systems company. 

The department said that the system, referred to as SDS Outdoor, could provide “critical details about outdoor shooting incidents almost instantaneously to first responders.”

The brand new system is reportedly an enhancement to the business, off-the-shelf Guardian Indoor Energetic Shooter Detection System. 

The department said SDS Outdoor uses each the sound and flash of the gunshot to detect and validate each gunshot, with a view to drastically reduce false positives. 

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An exterior view of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Constructing in Washington D.C., on Jan. 5, 2023.
((Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images))

It may even be deployed for temporary events in locations where infrastructure support isn’t available, reminiscent of open-field live shows or pop-up rallies.

Moreover, the agency noted that the majority other systems rely principally on sound, which might have higher false-positive rates. 

Following nearly two years of development, prototype testing began in January of last 12 months, and a real-time demonstration to a user advisory group was provided in May. 

The system was then tested by the Science and Technology Directorate’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory and the First Responder Technology Program team in an Operational Field Assessment at Fort Dix, Latest Jersey, in November. 

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Homeland Security said that feedback from participating law enforcement agencies helped to make the system more practical in detecting and alerting responders to gunshots.

SDS Outdoor also complements other Science and Technology Directorate-developed detection and tracking technologies, reminiscent of MappedIn Response and Detection of Presence of Life through Partitions.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security flag is seen on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Building in Washington D.C., on Jan. 5, 2023. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security flag is seen on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Constructing in Washington D.C., on Jan. 5, 2023. 
((Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images))

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“Many U.S. gunshot detection technologies will not be easily deployed in the sphere or at temporary locations,” Dimitri Kusnezov, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology, said in an announcement. “This recent system could be moved by one or two officers without the necessity for technicians to move and arrange. This mobile capability will help responders approach gun violence incidents with greater awareness, reducing response times and increasing responder safety.”

Critics have questioned the effectiveness of gunshot detection systems, and a few say that past efforts have wasted taxpayer dollars.

Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News and Fox Business Digital. 

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