Guardian 8 pepper-spray device integrates Bluetooth, video and audio alarm
Pepper-spray devices provide teachers with a way to help protect schools without directly entering the fray, says Paul Hughes, chief operating officer for Guardian 8.
Using a military technique called “channeling,” teachers could spray down the hallway during the process of ensuring the classroom door is locked. It is a way for educators to contribute as part of a “delay and defend” strategy, as opposed to the prevailing “run, hide, fight” approach, Hughes said.
“What we have to start thinking about are different ways to protect the school that don’t turn the teacher into a combatant, because that’s not the way they’re wired,” Hughes said from the ASIS show floor in Atlanta during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
“They don’t often have fighting skills, because they don’t want fighting skills. So we now have to find a way of protecting the school that they’re comfortable in participating in without exposing them to all of the danger.”
Guardian 8’s Pro V2, which squirts pepper spray, has a video camera, a Bluetooth module and an audible alarm that are all simultaneously activated when the trigger is lightly pulled (a full squeeze discharges the pepper spray).
A call is placed to a command center, informing others first through an automated message that help is needed and then providing real-time audio of the encounter. The video is not live streamed.
“When we reviewed a lot of incident video of security officers, one of the first things that they should be doing—but weren’t—is communicating that they had a situation that required support,” Hughes said.
“That’s not uncommon. It happens in law enforcement, it happens in security—where when you get under a tense situation, you start getting tunnel vision and you start to focus very singularly on what’s in front of you. You’re not thinking, ‘I need to tell others what’s going on.’”
The video is stored on a 4 GB card, which cannot be removed without destroying the device, and can be downloaded through a USB port.
“We get asked about streaming video, but the reality is a lot of places aren’t capable of supporting streaming video, because it creates so much data,” Hughes said.
The Pro V2, which was launched early this year, was deployed at higher-education institutions starting this summer, but it is not currently being used in K-12 schools.