Archbishop Wood High School installs new gun-detection technology

Christie Ileto Image
Thursday, November 8, 2018
School security surveillance goes high tech
Archbishop Wood High School shows off more than 30 cameras with a new system as reported by Christie Ileto during Action News at 10 on November 7, 2018.

WARMINSTER, Pa. -- A local high school has installed a security system that can detect in real time if someone is armed, and in an age where school shootings have become the norm its creator tells Action News he hopes this will help curb the national trend.

Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster is using the new system called Athena, an artificial intelligence system that detects in real-time if someone is armed and immediately alerts building administrators and authorities.

"It automatically detects when someone pulls out a gun," said CEO and co-founder of Athena Lisa Falzone. "Currently the security camera industry is very reactive. It does nothing to give alert to prevent crime."

Making their pitch to other school leaders in Bucks County, Falzone said the software hooks up to existing security cameras.

Falzone said the system can currently detect when someone pulls a weapon, but cannot detect a concealed weapon, something she and he co-founder, Chris Ciabarra, are working to be able to soon offer.

Students today don't know a world where mass shootings don't exist. Wood has over 30 cameras with this new system in place.

"They've tested it and it works fine," said President Gary Zimmaro. "We're the only ones that have it and hopefully we won't have to use it."

A system that at one time cost $100,000 is now about $100 a month per camera, a slightly more affordable price tag.

While Wood is the first school in this area to employ the Athena system, we are told three other schools across the country have already signed up for the new technology.