Protecting Soft Targets Using AI-Based Technology

  • Patriot One: The combination of traditional systems with advanced technology provides a much ­enhanced level of threat detection and security

Gun violence continues to be a serious issue across the US. With 24 mass shootings recorded already in 2020 alone, protecting vulnerable soft targets such as educational institutions, houses of worship, retail stores, office buildings, and music/event venues continues to remain a key priority for law enforcement across the country.

In order to best protect the public, those in charge of safeguarding these locations must begin to think beyond traditional security systems. This means looking for and implementing solutions that capitalize on the benefits of technology to enhance existing security. Eric Plummer, Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police at the University of North Dakota (UND), considers incorporating advanced technology into security systems highly important, and explains his reasoning below. Institutions are beginning to embrace this approach and adopt new solutions, for example, at the University of North Dakota where cutting-edge, multi-sensor threat detection technologies are being tested to detect concealed weapons. In UND’s case, this includes Patriot One technologies.
The university is a public education and research university located in Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was established in 1883 by the Dakota Territorial Assembly and is the state‘s oldest institution of higher education. It is home to several high-profile programs and national research institutions, including a School of Aerospace Sciences, the Energy and Environmental Research Center, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center. UND also has several large athletic facilities which are used as special event and concert venues, drawing thousands of visitors from across the region.

Time Critical
With the increase of international and domestic threats to soft target locations such as schools and universities, government facilities and event and sports venues, protecting these sites is becoming an increasingly urgent challenge. As threats evolve and become harder to detect, it’s essential to work with new technologies to minimize threats and protect communities.

In the event of a critical incident, every second counts, and the ability to quickly respond to and stabilize the incident is crucial.
At UND, integrating technology to work with existing security systems allows the university to defend against and deter potential incidents of violence. It had worked with other vendors in integrating security systems, but some of these partners did not meet expectations, either with integrating legacy systems or addressing privacy concerns from the community.

Triple Benefits
Interest rose in Patriot One because of its artificial-intelligence (AI) driven platform approach to physical security, and its philosophy of incorporating people, policy, and platform within the security concept. Taken as a whole, this approach combines human expertise and skills, contemporary technology and fundamental policies that initiate appropriate responses to quickly and accurately detect threats.

Deployment of the Patscan Multi-Sensor Covert Threat Detection Platform at UND is still in the early stages, but it has already seen overwhelming support for the technology from students, the faculty, and staff. It’s widely recognized that this technology will assist in keeping UND a safe place to live, learn, work, and visit.

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