Gunshot Detection System Named Finalist for Wisconsin Innovation Award

The Trinity Gunshot Alarm System, developed by Stacy Jax, will vie among more than 30 innovative products and services from across the state that have been nominated for the award.

BARABOO, Wisc. — A gunshot detection alarm system is among the pool of products and services that will vie for a spot in the winner’s circle at the 2018 Wisconsin Innovation Awards.

The Trinity Gunshot Alarm System, developed by Stacy Jax of Baraboo, Wisc., was selected as a finalist by a panel of industry experts from a pool of 357 businesses, products and services from around the Badger State. In all, 34 companies and nonprofit organizations have been nominated for the 2018 installment of the awards program.

The automated gunshot-detecting works similar to a fire alarm, according to the company’s website. Sensors are placed throughout a building, and once they detect and confirm the sound of a gunshot, the system sets off a building-wide alarm and simultaneously notifies emergency responders. The sensors can distinguish gunshots from other loud noises, and also pinpoint the location of the shot, which could aid law enforcement entering a building to address an unknown threat.

“It’s being welcomed as a reliable, immediate notification of an active shooter,” Jax told the Baraboo News Republic. “Our system tells you exactly what’s going on, which allows for a more proactive response.”

Jax developed the idea for the gunshot alarm system in the aftermath of the deadly mass shooting in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. She brought her idea to Madison software development company Acumium in February 2016 and has since worked to make it a reality, according to the newspaper report.

Jax tested the alarm system in March with the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department at an indoor shooting range, the newspaper reported. Authorities said the technology could help school staff differentiate the sound of gunshots from other noises because, depending on where a gun goes off in a building, they might not sound like gunshots.

Jax, who hopes to complete the sensors and install them at a test site this fall, said the alarm also could better prepare substitute teachers and other school staff members who may not be familiar with active shooter protocols. She said a prototype of the full system should be completed by the end of the year.

“I think the entire nation is looking for a solution, and this is one of many solutions that must be implemented to really strategize against active shooter situations,” Jax said.

Nominations for the Wisconsin Innovation Award included large and small companies and startups from nearly many industries, according to a news release. The organization connects innovators across the state by producing educational media content, organizing a statewide network of experts willing to mentor and support each other and hosting events that highlight groundbreaking work.

The winners will be announced Oct. 3 during an awards ceremony in Madison.

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