FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Autonomous Robots Prevent Crime

Ask The Expert

Stacy Dean Stephens

VP Marketing & Sales

Brian Cain

Brian Cain

Brian Cain is a sergeant with the Holly Springs (Ga.) Police Department, and is known as the "Millennial cop" on Twitter. He has been in law enforcement since 2000. He hosts and produces a podcast for Millennials in law enforcement.



Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).



Michael Bostic

Michael Bostic

Mike Bostic, of Raytheon Corp.'s Civil Communication Solutions group, specializes in open architecture, systems integration of communications and data programs. Mike spent 34 years with the LAPD. He managed IT and facility development, as well as the SWAT Board of Inquiry, which developed new command-and-control systems.
Technology

Detecting the Origin of Gunshots

ShotSpotter auditory sensors relay instantaneous data to police agencies when gunfire erupts.

July 29, 2010  |  by


Photo via Flickr.com (thisisrod).

The Plainfield (N.J.) Police Department is the latest agency to consider using a technological system called ShotSpotter that uses audio freqencies to pinpoint the location where shots were fired.

The system is in use by more than 50 law enforcement agencies around the country.

Agencies using ShotSpotter, according to the manufacturer, say it reduces violent crime, discourages random gunfire, aids in arrests, provides data for investigations and prosecutions, and has allowed agencies to refocus patrols in critical areas of the city at certain times.

The Plainfield (N.J.) Police Department is the latest agency to consider using a system that has been adopted in Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, D.C. and Birmingham (Ala.), reports MyCentralJersey.com.

Gunshot detection is possible with the system that involves the installation of small auditory sensors—16 per square mile—in areas where gunfire is more common.

When a gun is fired, sound waves travel outward in all directions at a uniform speed, hitting the sensors at different times. Those times are then compared digitally to determine the origin of the shot with sharp accuracy.

According to the company, in 2006, 91 percent of gunshots recorded by active ShotSpotter systems were pinpointed to within 10 meters of an actual firing location. The sensors are so sensitive, they can help determine the number of shots fired, whether a shooter was moving when firing, and the caliber of weapon used.

The system reduces the frequency of gun shots essentially by increasing police response time, because shots-fired data is relayed to responding officers within seconds, according to the company.

"Faster police time means quicker arrests, shorter investigations and a smarter use of our resources in Minneapolis," according to Councilman Gary Schiff. "With five to six thousand reports of shots fired in the city each year, hopes were high that the city would see a dramatic reduction in violent crime."

In one dramatic instance in the metro D.C. area, ShotSpotter data was responsible supporting the accounts of two officers accused of an improper shooting.


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

How Can Law Enforcement Mitigate the Opioid Crisis in America?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 115 people die by...
What Does the FBI’s Latest Study on Active Shooters Really Mean?
In late June, the FBI released what it called Phase Two of the agency’s ongoing...

Police Magazine