Martinsville schools to install gunshot detection devices in all buildings

Device is about the same size as a smoke detector

A local school district has installed a new system to keep students safe from school shootings.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Martinsville City Schools is making a historic expansion to a system designed to keep kids safe.

The district will install gunshot detection devices in all of its buildings.

The purchase and installation of these devices was funded by an approved $200,000 request to the Virginia Department of Education.

The device, which is about the same size as a smoke detector, automatically notifies dispatchers and police if it hears the sound of a gunshot. The technology is also able to tell law enforcement where in the building the sound came from.

“It’s a tool that’s out of sight, out of mind,” said Martinsville City Schools director of security T.J. Slaughter. “It’s peace of mind, it’s there when you need it.”

Several school buildings in Martinsville already have gunshot detection devices at their front entrances; however, Martinsville City Schools will likely become the first school system in Virginia to implement widespread use of the technology.