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– Artificial Intelligence Weapons Monitoring Software to be Deployed at Michigan Capitol

The state Capitol will deploy new technology that uses artificial intelligence to analyze surveilla…

On Monday, the Capitol Express will introduce new technology utilizing artificial intelligence to analyze firearm surveillance footage and identify potential risks within sensitive government areas.

ZeroEyes, a cutting-edge system, will debut at the Capitol building on Monday following its successful deployment at Oxford High School in Oakland County and various other locations nationwide.

This initiative by the state house represents one of the latest safety enhancements, marking the implementation of arms monitoring equipment at all entry points for the first time back in August.

These upgrades were prompted by the increasingly volatile political climate and demonstrations during the pandemic, where armed individuals were observed in the Senate gallery and attempted to access the House chambers.

Rob Blackshaw, the executive chairman of the Michigan State Capitol Commission, emphasized the importance of maintaining a secure environment for all visitors and employees amidst external uncertainties. He praised ZeroEyes for its exceptional technology and role in upholding safety standards.

ZeroEyes expressed its commitment to safeguarding the historic structure, highlighting the significance of security measures in today’s challenging social landscape.

Mike Lahiff, CEO and co-founder of ZeroEyes, commended the Michigan State Capitol’s dedication to protecting its personnel and premises, especially in light of the recent increase in social unrest.

ZeroEyes functions as an integrated technology that interfaces with existing security systems to monitor the Capitol grounds and interior. Upon detecting a weapon on the premises using AI, the system relays information to a command center staffed by former military and law enforcement professionals for further assessment.

In case of a credible threat, the command center promptly alerts surveillance teams at the Capitol, providing detailed information on the type, location, and visual identification of the weapon. Response and analysis typically occur within a 3 to 5-minute timeframe.

To reinforce security measures, the Michigan State Capitol Commission extended a ban on open carry earlier this year, restricting concealed carry within the Capitol premises. Any detection of firearms on the property aids in monitoring potential threats to legislative spaces, as the Capitol grounds fall outside the ban’s jurisdiction.

The monthly cost of this technology amounts to approximately $3,000, with additional expenses incurred for the installation of pass-through weapons monitoring devices at the five main entry points of the building.

In response to heightened security needs, the Capitol commission recruited more House and Senate constables, along with Michigan State Police officers, to bolster protection measures.

Concerns regarding firearms at the Capitol arose three years ago during a lockdown protest in April 2020, where protesters openly carried weapons and attempted to breach the chamber floor. Subsequently, the committee, led by Democrat Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, enacted restrictions on firearms within the Capitol premises to ensure visitor safety.

Following the events of January 6, 2021, when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, the committee unanimously resolved to prohibit open carry of firearms inside the state Capitol. However, concealed carry remained permissible within the Capitol as outlined in the 2021 regulations.

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Last modified: February 28, 2024
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