Company offers 'solution' to protect students during active shooting

KPRC gets inside look at how integrative tech system works

HOUSTON – After the Santa Fe school shooting devastated the community, many people are looking for potential solutions and action items to keep children safer. 

One Austin-based business believes it has the "first 360" solution to keep children safe at schools during an active shooter situation. After the Santa Fe school shootings, the founder decided he wanted to help in any way he could.

"I saw the shooting on the news, and said, 'How many more people need to die unnecessarily?" said Ninex president and founder Bradley Spitzer.

Spitzer is a former first responder who integrated gunshot detection technology with notification and communication technology among other tools in the security market, combining the best technology elements from several high-security systems into one usable system.

"What we've done is taken the best technology on the market today and developed it into a single platform -- something that no one really needs to try and to figure how it works. It just works," Spitzer said.

He was a police officer and a volunteer firefighter. His company had primarily focused on providing the Ninex security service to law enforcement agencies and businesses. After the Santa Fe High School shooting, he decided that his company would also start to focus on getting the system into schools.

"I decided that, as a company, we're going to offer this technology and services to schools," Spitzer said. "You can't prevent the incident from occurring, but what you can do is minimize the damage."

The Santa Fe shooting took the lives of 10 people, eight of whom were students. Trisha Hayman's son is a student at Santa Fe High School. Parents said the shooting was eye-opening and the situation hit too close to home.

"There needs to be something done," Hayman said.

Spitzer traveled from Austin to show KPRC how his product works. He said his product will help provide rapid communication and alerts and detection. He said, when people hear gunshots, they waste time in a panic.

"People are in a denial stage. They're not sure what they heard," Spitzer said.

Time that is precious when there is an active shooting. The Ninex security system can detect and recognize the sound of gunshots.

"Once a gunshot is heard, a system will actually activate," Spitzer said.

The system can immediately be programed to shut and lock doors, send texts and alerts to phones, computers, the PA system and TVs. It will also alert first responders in the area.

The system, which can be connected to existing or external security cameras, can also help police identify who is doing the shooting and send descriptions of those people to first responders before they arrive. 

"We're able to provide real-time information to law enforcement on the number of shooters, what they are wearing, what type of weapon they have, where they are within a school or within a business, so when law enforcement is responding, they are responding to a specific threat," Spitzer said.

The system can be operated both automatically and manually through a switch, which can be strategically placed, or through a computer.

"Every second count and, on average, it takes three to four minutes before law enforcement is notified in an active shooter event because what people hear, they don't typically recognize as a gunshot," Spitzer said.

He said systems such as this one work but are only used in less than a dozen school districts in the state of Texas. He hopes that more people will learn about this option, and he said children's safety should be a top priority.

"No one should have to die," Spitzer said.

For more information about the Ninex security system, click here.