EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Gun detectors using artificial intelligence will be available to Utah Schools

Jan 9, 2024, 8:30 AM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 8:24 am

AI being used to detect guns...

FILE: From writing essays to generating art, now AI is detecting guns and helping keep schools safe in shooting situations. (Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images /Lightrocket/Getty Images)

(Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images /Lightrocket/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Schools across Utah could soon get new gun detectors that are driven by artificial intelligence. 

The Utah legislature has already funded the project by allocating $3 million during the 2023 legislative session. Now, the board of education is contracting with a company to take the next steps.

The gun detectors use existing security cameras to look for visible firearms, said Board of Education School Safety Specialist, Rhett Larsen. 

“This software is designed to identify weapons that are not concealed — brandished firearms.”

He also said that the system is not based on facial recognition.

What happens if a gun is detected?

If a gun is detected, a program will send the picture to a live monitor who can then review the photo and call local police if necessary.

“(The program) will be available to all 1,086 schools if they wish to participate,” Larsen said.

Larsen said the board has enough money for every school to do this if they have the cameras already in place.

“I’m exicted for this opportunity,” he said. “I’m excited to see what it looks like once it’s implemented in our schools. I’m excited to hear from our building principals.”

Larsen said that applications for schools to get this new technology should be available in a couple of months. He said the programs should be in place by the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

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Gun detectors using artificial intelligence will be available to Utah Schools