The Lesson We Still Need to Learn from Sandy Hook

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By Mike Ellenbogen, CEO of Evolv Technology –

Six years after the tragedy, we’re still treating active shooter attacks as isolated incidents

It’s been six years since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. A week after that awful day, Evolv advisor Juliette Kayyam wrote an incisive, rage-fueled column for the Boston Globe, entitled “Details are a Distraction in Newtown Killing”. Her plea was for society to stop fixating on the personal stories of each active shooter, as though perfect understanding could somehow prevent future attacks, and focus instead on pragmatic, real-world measures to dissuade all would-be attackers.

For Juliette, gun control is an essential part of the solution. But whatever your political beliefs, there’s no arguing her goal: to make an unsafe world as safe as it can be, without impinging on our free way of life. That’s been Evolv’s mission from the start.

We are fortunate to have Juliette on board to advise us and help spread our message. She was homeland security advisor for the state of Massachusetts, before becoming President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. These days, she is a frequent guest analyst on CNN.

Here is a link to Juliette’s column. It’s worth reading again.

Read more from Juliette in A Citizen’s Guide to Stopping the Next Active Shooter.

The SAFETY Act Designation – Why It Matters to You

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By Mike Ellenbogen, Co-Founder and CEO at Evolv Technology –

Today, we’re extremely proud to share that we have been awarded a SAFETY Act Designation as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT) from the Department of Homeland Security for our Evolv Edge™ system. The SAFETY Act (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act), enacted in 2002, was designed to encourage the development and utilization of anti-terrorism technologies in the U.S. Without the protections the SAFETY Act provides, companies like Evolv, both large and small, would not be shielded from potential liability claims, and might therefore be unwilling to assume the risk of developing and deploying new, cutting edge anti-terrorism technologies. The SAFETY Act encourages continued innovation in the fight against terrorism, and those products recognized under this program have been put through a rigorous evaluation process.

Those who are considering and evaluating physical security systems can be assured that products that have achieved this Designation have been thoroughly vetted and validated to perform as designed to prevent terrorist acts. And for those who are already customers, a SAFETY Act Designation is just further proof that you made the right decision.

But assurance of product performance is only one benefit. The SAFETY Act not only shields sellers from civil liability if there is an act of terrorism but also shields the buyers who are using SAFETY Act Designated products.

That’s right – the SAFETY Act states, “The SAFETY Act created liability limitations for claims resulting from an act of terrorism where Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies (QATTs) have been deployed. The Act applies to a broad range of technologies, including products, services, and software, or combinations thereof. Parties covered under the SAFETY Act are referred to as “Sellers” and can include any person, firm, or other entity that provides a QATT to customer(s) and to whom a Designation has been issued. The Act applies to claims against the Seller of a QATT that are filed in United States courts. Similar claims may not be brought against the buyers, buyers’ contractors, or downstream users of the QATT.”

The SAFETY Act doesn’t only apply to technology. You can also apply to get a SAFETY Act Designation for your facility and organization. Countless shopping mall properties, corporations, stadiums, and sporting leagues have applied for and achieved the Designation. Deploying detection and prevention systems, like the Evolv Edge, is one component that will help you on your path to achieve the SAFETY Act Designation when combined with a comprehensive plan.

I know first-hand just how important this distinction is as this is the second time I’ve received the SAFETY Act Designation. The first was for the Reveal CT-80, a product I created when I started Reveal Imaging Technologies. It was the first explosive detection system (EDS) to be certified as an approved product for Homeland Security under the SAFETY Act.

1: So just how rigorous is it to obtain a SAFETY Act Designation? Here’s some of the criteria:

2: Prior United States Government use or demonstrated substantial utility and effectiveness

3: Availability of the technology for immediate deployment in public and private settings

4: Magnitude of risk exposure to the public if the technology is not deployed

5: Evaluation of scientific studies that can be feasibly conducted to assess the capability of the technology to substantially reduce risks of harm

6: Effectiveness of the technology in facilitating the defense against acts of terrorism

The SAFETY Act benefits everyone – it allows companies to create products that protect the public. It allows businesses to deploy the products that protect the public. And, most importantly, it allows the public to be safer when using facilities that have SAFETY Act Designated products in place.

For more information on Evolv’s SAFETY Act Designation, please read the press release.