ZeroEyes announced that its solution has been chosen by Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, Calif., to proactively protect its congregants against gun-related threats.

The FBI reports that 15.1 percent of hate crime incidents are religion-related and places of worship are increasingly becoming targets of gun-related incidents. Mass shootings such as the 2022 tragedy at St Stephen’s Episcopal church in Birmingham, Ala., highlight the critical need for advanced security measures to protect worshippers from potential hate crimes.

ZeroEyes’ visual gun detection and intelligent situational awareness software will be layered on Valley Baptist Church’s existing digital security cameras. If an illegally brandished gun is identified, images will instantly be shared with a specialized group of U.S. military and law enforcement veterans at one of the in-house ZeroEyes Operation Centers (ZOC) that are staffed 24/7/365. These experts are trained to verify the threat and dispatch alerts and actionable intelligence, including visual description, gun type and last known location, to local staff and law enforcement as fast as three to five seconds from detection.

Valley Baptist Church was established in 1985 and has since grown to encompass four campuses with 15 pastors, 8,000 members and a 280-student pre-school. The congregation has recently placed significant focus and emphasis on church campus safety, hiring its first director of safety and security.

“I have an extensive background in law enforcement including service with the FBI, and I can’t overstate how impressed I am with the capability of ZeroEyes’ AI gun-detection solution, as well as the team’s passion,” said Matt Montana, director of safety and security at Valley Baptist Church. “We decided to take this leap with ZeroEyes so that our members can safely practice their religion without fear or disruption.”

“The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion to all Americans, and it is saddening that bad actors are infringing on that right with violent acts of hatred and it must stop,” said Mike Lahiff, CEO and co-founder of ZeroEyes. “We are proud that Valley Baptist Church has chosen to implement ZeroEyes to protect against gun-related threats and help ensure a welcoming and safe environment for its congregation.”

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