HAMPTON, Va. (August 31, 2018) — Hampton University, a beautiful historic college located in the city of Hampton, Virginia, is home to over 4,600 students as well as hundreds of faculty and staff. As the fall approaches, the students will be flocking back to the campus with new classes, new friends, new teachers and a new technology system in place to help combat the threat of gun violence on or near the school.
The Hampton University Police Department provides around the clock services 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The department has 63 authorized positions, including 38 state certified police officers, 10 security officers, 8 telecommunication personnel, and 7administrative support personnel who diligently to keep the students safe. Unfortunately, the current reality is that gun violence and the threat of active shooter events has sharply increased around schools and universities, as well as in neighboring urban communities. Students at Hampton may be so busy starting the new year that they are unaware that ShotSpotter technology is now hard at work behind the scenes on their campus to help quickly detect and alert security professionals to any sound of gunfire.
According to Hampton University Police Chief David Glover, “We want to let our students know about ShotSpotter and this new technology that will help make everyone safer. The campus isn’t in a classic urban setting, but should we have to react to incidents involving shots fired, we want to do all we can to be prepared.”
ShotSpotter detects gunfire accurately, provides increased situational awareness for first responders, and integrates seamlessly with existing security systems for enhanced campus/facility security. At Hampton University, ShotSpotter acoustic sensors have been installed around its 314 acre campus.
“ShotSpotter will allow us to quickly and accurately respond to any gunfire incidents with information on the precise location,” explained Glover. “This capability enables us to keep the campus community safer by improving response times, enhancing evidence recovery, (shell casings), and facilitates locating witnesses to talk to on the scene.”
Hampton’s location is beautiful – surrounded by water on three sides – but that also means that sound travels fast. Glover expects ShotSpotter to help quell rumors and misinformation that may occur because individuals setting off firecrackers or sounds carried over water that sound like gunfire from other parts of the city,. The accuracy of the technology will assure that officers know if it is gunfire or other loud noises and then pinpoint the location of where the shots were fired.
Since their recent deployment of ShotSpotter over the summer, the system is working for Hampton University. According to Chief Glover, “We’ve had two instances of ShotSpotter picking up gunfire outside our campus, and we were able to share that with the Hampton Police Division enabling them to quickly respond. Working closely with ShotSpotter and our partners in the Hampton Police Division, Hampton University will be safer and better prepared to combat gun violence. ”
Hampton University is a member of the IACLEA (International Association of Campus Law Emforcement Administrators).