ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A local mayor is calling for gunshot detection systems to be the state standard, after a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas left 19 children and two teachers dead on Tuesday.
Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux said eight of the city's school campuses have a detection system set up, with the ninth coming in the brand-new high school set to open in August. The systems automatically call police when they detect the sound of a gunshot, similar to the Shotspotter technology in use in Brockton and other cities around the state.
Heroux says its time to make gunshot detection systems a fixture of public schools statewide.
"School shootings are more common than school fires, but we don't actually do much about it, maybe a drill. This should be a much higher priority, the school shootings will continue," he said.
He wants to make the systems a statewide standard like fire alarms in schools, and said the system would shrink police response times.
"This is an action the state legislature needs to take and fund with grants," Heroux said. WBZ NewsRadio reached out to the state to see if there's any similar plan already in the works. The system from local security company Help Inc was paid for with the money from the city's Community Host Agreement with a local recreational cannabis dispensary, and cost about $500,000 to install.
Heroux said he thought only a handful of schools in the state are equipped with the tech. He also said Attleboro is trying to take proactive steps to target-harden its school buildings, like putting bullet-proof glass on doors and putting metal detectors in place.