For officers trying to track locations of gunfire in the concrete canyons of urban America, help is at hand.

The ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system, from Trilon Technology, working in harmony with the Communicator, a high-speed notification system, from Dialogic Communications Corporation, is helping officers pinpoint — precisely — where guns are being fired.

To date, the system has been tested in Redwood City, Calif., and by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Inventor Dr. Robert Showen told Police, "In Redwood City the gunfire rate has substantially reduced ... The calls for service to 911 are way down, and the number of shots heard in the neighborhood is way down."

So far, the results in Los Angeles are looking promising. Said LASD Century Station Deputy Tom Fortier, "Now, if you shoot a gun off your back porch, our message is we're going to come knocking."

The system recently became part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of History permanent research collection.

For more information, visit the ShotSpotter website.

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