MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Horry County school board voted Monday to approve a request made by Myrtle Beach police to implement an Acoustic Threat Detection Program.

The MBPD was awarded a school violence and protection grant that is being used to purchase equipment that will help them respond quicker to possible shootings inside of Myrtle Beach schools.

News13’s Maya Lockett spoke with the department about their efforts to protect children and faculty.

“The safety of our kids is one of our biggest responsibilities here at the Myrtle Beach Police Department,” Capt. Bryan Murphy said.

Following the increasing amount of violence at schools nationwide and a number of hoax and swatting threats made against schools in Myrtle Beach, Murphy and the police department began looking for additional ways to protect children and staff.

“Last year, we started working on a grant that would provide us with an acoustic threat detection system that we want to install at the Myrtle Beach school clusters to provide additional safety for our students,” Murphy said.

That cluster includes Myrtle Beach Elementary, Middle and High school. This hardware and software is designed to identify and notify law enforcement immediately when a gun is fired in the area of one of the schools.

“So instead of having to determine that it was gunfire and then we kind of figure out where the gunfire was coming from, and then call us, our system will notify us immediately and we know exactly where to go,” Murphy said.

The system will include 19 sensors and cameras which will be located outside on the perimeter of the schools.

Murphy said the police department received a $198,000 grant, which the city matched at 25%.

“Anytime that we can find technology that makes the schools and our students and our teachers and everybody else that visits those camps safer, we’re all on board for that,” he said.

Murphy said they plan to install the sensors by the first week of August, just in time for the new school year.

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Maya Lockett is a reporter at News13. Maya is from Los Angeles. She joined the News13 team in November 2021. She graduated from Syracuse University. Follow Maya on Twitter and read more of her work here.

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