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Oriole Park to be testing site for weapons-detection technology

Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, will be the American sports testing ground for a new weapons detection system being evaluated early next year.

The Maryland Stadium Authority, owner and operator of the complex that includes both Oriole Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles, and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens, will collaborate with Peachtree Corners, Georgia-based security company Liberty Defense. The stadium authority and Liberty Defense will beta test a new radar and artificial intelligence-based system capable of detecting hidden weapons in real time without collecting or storing any personally identifiable information such as images used in facial recognition systems.

The Liberty Defense system, entitled Hexwave, is designed to use a series of enlarged gateposts that allow for detection of both metal and plastic weapons. Hexwave is generally designed to be placed at the perimeter of a property to allow for free flow of crowds before arriving toward other forms of security screening.

The test, being provided at no cost to the Maryland Stadium Authority, is slated to encompass several weeks early in the Orioles’ 2020 season.

“We’re trying to understand better how the system will perform in this type of setting,” said Bill Riker, Liberty Defense chief executive. “We think this will be very instructive, and we believe the range of weapons we can detect is much broader than other techologies.”

Liberty Defense is in the midst of planning several other beta tests of Hexwave in late 2019 and early 2020, including at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena in Germany and Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. The company is also targeting several other markets, including other public venues such as shopping malls and town squares, secured office buildings, transportation hubs, and institutions such as schools and hospitals.