Bradenton, Florida — Bradenton Police hope city leaders and businesses will help support a new crime fighting tool to reduce gun violence in the city’s high crime area.

“Just the other night we heard 7-8 shots. It stopped for 30 minutes and started up again.”

Gun shots are the sound Pamela Cash fears every night living in this southeast corner of Bradenton after losing her 15-year-old son to gun violence.

Just before 9 o’clock on the night of Feb. 20, Dakota Smith was walking home along 13th Ave. East when he son was gunned down — shot in the head. A memorial made up of a wooden cross, flowers and an Easter basket now stands where Dakota’s body was found.

“I look for him to come through the door, but I know he’s not. Asking God to bring justice for my son,” says Cash.

Part of that justice is sparing another family the same pain.

“All homicides the last three years have been in this area.” Lt J.A. Racky points to a map and the area between Ware’s Creek on the west, Bradenton River on the east side and the southern city limits.

Racky says the city has had 12 homicides, more than 60 gun-related crimes, and more than 270 gun-related calls to dispatch in three years from this targeted area.

“Eighty percent of all gun-related crimes in the city are in this 4-mile radius. We are going where the problem is,” he says.

Bradenton Police are proposing adding about 15 sensors every square mile that detect and report gunfire using a tool called Shot Spotter.

“We’re going to pinpoint gun shots down to several meters,” Racky says.

Video from Shot Spotter Technology shows how it works. Technicians receive an alert of gunfire. The technicians are trained to tell the difference between a gunshot, fireworks or car backfiring. GPS sensors then triangulate where the shots originated and technicians call police dispatch to send out officers.

WATCH a demonstration video here:

Racky says the sensors will help improve response time.

“I there’s a victim of a gunshot, we can get there quicker. If there’s a suspect on scene should be able to catch him.”

Racky says with many cases, including Dakota’s, the community appears to be too scared to help police.The quicker response, says Racky, also gives officers a chance to interview witnesses on scene.

“That’s the sad part. We don’t’ get calls, or leads, even though somebody out there knows.”

An expert with Shot Spotter Technology will make a presentation to Bradenton City Council at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The public is invited to attend.

Racky estimates the technology would cost between $200,000 and $270,000.

Pamela keeps a bit of her son’s ashes in a silver heart locket she wears around her neck praying for the day his murderer is found. In the meantime, she keeps her 13-year-old son indoors at night, to protect him from the gun violence.

“I can’t lose another one,” she says.

Pamela says losing Dakota is a pain that never goes away, a pain she wants to spare other families. She says the Shot Spotter Technology may help deter crime and save a life.

“It might help save someone else’s life or family member. It could help make a difference.”

Source: WTSP

Written by Walter Bird Jr. 

The launch of a Real Time Crime Center early last year saw the Worcester Police Department embrace a technology that had caught on in other states. Cameras already in place on properties around the city tied into a sophisticated surveillance system based at police headquarters, allowing police to monitor a potential crime scene in real-time. Worcester was not done employing new technology to keep its residents safe, however.

On Monday, April 14 the Police Department’s ShotSpotter gunshot detection system went live. As of Wednesday, there were four instances of gunshots fired within the six-square-mile radius covered by the system. In three of the four cases, police were able to find shell casings. The nearly $1-million, web-based ShotSpotter system, which includes a network of sensors that detect and determine the sounds of gunshots, covers a six-mile radius in the city and is part of a three-year trial. It is but first phase in an ambitious move by police to ramp up the war on crime. Next in line: cameras that would be tied into the gunshot sensors and pan in the direction of the sound, which police believe will dramatically increase the chances of identifying suspects or capturing images of vehicles that may be carrying the suspects.

“We have to constantly be looking at how we do business,” Deputy Chief Mark Roche says. “It is happening throughout the whole [Police Department], with our uniformed division, under Deputy Chief Steve Sargent, doing creative things in getting officers out on the street.”

Roche and Capt. Paul Saucier led a citywide crime watch meeting Wednesday night, April 16 at the Police Station. More than 40 residents, many of them belonging to community watch groups. turned out for what was the first public presentation of the system. Several uniformed police officers lined a wall at the back of a second-floor conference room, and seven city councilors – eight if you count the brief remarks made by Mayor Joe Petty – were in attendance. At-Large councilors Mo Bergman, Kate Toomey, Mike Gaffney and Konnie Lukes all were on hand, as were District 1 Councilor Tony Economou, District 3 Councilor George Russell and District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera. State Sen. Harriette Chandler was also there. City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. also spoke briefly, saying he “could not be more proud” of the Police Department and praising it for “constantly innovating and looking for new ways” to protect the community.

The meeting was dedicated solely to ShotSpotter and featured a PowerPoint presentation that showed the boundaries of the system and the locations where it had already detected gunshots. While it only went live Monday, the system has been up and running longer. The sounds of gunfire rang out through the room as Saucier played recordings of gunshots. In most of the instances, the shots had not been called in to dispatchers. Police learned of them only through ShotSpotter.

As Roche points out, the Police Department receives about 250 calls a year reporting gunshots. Police, he says, know that number does not represent the total shots fired in the city, since on average only about 25 percent of all gunshots are reported to Police.

“We know the number is going to go up,” Roche says, adding that ShotSpotter is guaranteed to be 80 percent accurate, but that the manufacturer says the sensors are closer to 90 percent accurate.

The biggest advantage police aim to gain from the new system is a drastic reduction  in response time. When calls are made to police and relayed to officers through a dispatcher, it can take between 10-15 minutes for police to respond. With ShotSpotter, that time is cut down to inside one minute. The sensor relays information to the review center in California, which then verifies whether the sound is a gunshot. It is then sent to police in Worcester. It all takes just 30 seconds.

“The quality of investigations will increase because this technology allows us to deploy resources based on the data,” Roche says. Instead of responding to every reported gunshot within the area where ShotSpotter is employed, police will know which incidents are legitimate gunshots.

The mission of curbing gun violence remains paramount to police, Saucier says.

“You shouldn’t have to hear gunfire in your neighborhood,”  he tells residents. “It’s inexcusable. We’re able to deploy our people when we have to and where.”

With ShotSpotter, officers in their cruisers receive a map image with a dot denoting the exact location of where a gun was fired. At the scene, they search a 25-meter area for evidence.

Calls by residents, Saucier says, are still encouraged, but ShotSpotter is “actual intelligence.” It is also much more precise. Instead of officers responding to a call reporting gunfire in a general area, they will know within feet of where the shot was fired.

The ShotSpotter system was paid for in part by mitigation money from CSX, with an advisory committee determining how to disperse the funds. More than $400,000 was spent. The city also contributed to the cost. Police will likely return to the CSX committee for money to tie cameras into the system. Committee member Gary Vecchio says the panel actually held back money, anticipating it would contribute to the cameras at some point. Saucier says police hope to start working on locations for the cameras next week. He did not say where they would be installed, only that they would be at “numerous locations.”

The system has been around since the early ’90s in California. Worcester has wanted to launch ShotSpotter for about five years, according to Roche, but “couldn’t get it off the ground because of finances.” In 2012, under then-City Manager Mike O’Brien, police met with the CSX Neighborhood Advisory Committee and pitched the idea. The initial proposal was for a three-year pilot covering three square miles. When the city stepped up, it was expanded to six square miles.

ShotSpotter has been implemented successfully in many cities, including Boston and Springfield. In Oakland, Calif., however, police are deciding whether to eliminate the gunshot detection system, according to a report on ShotSpotter has been in place there for eight years. It costs the department $264,000 a year, but police say residents already call them when they hear gunfire. The money, police say, could be used for other technology, such as the police helicopter. The move is being contemplated over the objections of residents, according to the report, who claim police are choosing money over public safety.

In Worcester, people appear impressed in the early stages of implementation.

“I thought this was great,” Lorrayne Dos-Santos of Auburn says of what was presented at the crime watch meeting. Dos-Santos is vice president of the Criminal Justice Club at Quinsigamond Community College, which she says is “very much involved with police.”

She was particularly amazed by the amount of time shaved off a police response by ShotSpotter.

Worcester resident Don Pibus had never seen how ShotSpotter works and was duly impressed.

“I think it’s long overdue,” he says of the new system. “We’ve had our fill of [crime]. I’ve never seen how it works. It’s all new. It’s amazing they can do that.”


Source: Worcester Magazine

When someone fires a gun in the United States, the police are called only 20 percent of the time. The other 80 percent of the time, no one calls them. Using the power of AT&T’s machine-to-machine network, SST’s ShotSpotter solutions detect gunshots in cities across the United States. So within minutes, local law enforcement can detect gunfire and pinpoint its location — helping them solve crimes and save lives.

Video  —  Posted: April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Less than one out of every five illegal gunshot incidents is reported to law enforcement, with some high-crime neighborhoods calling in fewer than 10 percent of their total shootings, according to a new analysis.

The data were released Tuesday and were compiled by ShotSpotter, the California-based gunshot detection company used by more than 80 police departments across the country, including Nassau County and Suffolk County police. The company’s sensors counted 51,000 gunshots in 48 municipalities it surveyed last year — a tally that includes Nassau and Suffolk.

More than 7,000 shots, or 15 percent, were fired during New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and July 4. There was an average of one gunshot incident every 10 minutes on Friday and Saturday nights between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., the analysis found.

The company’s technology is billed as a way to pinpoint the sources and direction of apparent gunfire in order to speed police responses in areas where residents are afraid to speak out. The system uses sensors placed in certain geographic areas that pick up the sounds of gunfire and alert police.

Suffolk police have used the gunshot sensors since December 2011. But a report released by the police department last July said that gunshots reported by the system were confirmed in only 14 instances, or less than 7 percent of the time, according to the study that covered eight months ending March 14, 2013.

Nassau County police have been using the technology since 2009. They say it has helped reduce gun violence and made it easier to locate and investigate gunfire.

Experts on trauma said the data are particularly disturbing because of the impact frequent gunfire can have on children.

“The gunfire index highlights the shocking frequency of traumatic events suffered by children and young adults growing up in our underserved communities,” stated Dr. Steven Marans, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, where he directs the Childhood Violent Trauma Center. “We know all too well that the trauma and fear associated with gun violence can compromise development and lead to physical and mental health difficulties that can last a lifetime.”

ShotSpotter declined to break out data for individual municipalities.


Source: Newsday

ShotSpotter gunfire location sensors have shown that residents of Oakland, Calif., vastly underreported hearing gunshots, according to a company that provides the same technology to Chicago.

The company, SST Inc., identified 8,769 shooting incidents in Oakland in 2012 and 2013, but only 13 percent of them resulted in a 911 call within 30 minutes and half a mile of the incident, said Ralph Clark, president and CEO of the firm.

“People don’t want to get involved,” Clark said.

In a report released Wednesday, the company said: “Those areas which suffer the highest gunfire rates fail to report gunfire, while those which experience the lower rates are more likely to report.”

In 2013, the Chicago Police Department recorded 414 murders, most of which were the result of gunfire. There were 1,863 “shooting incidents,” which include fatal and nonfatal shootings and can involve multiple victims, police said.

To speed up the response to such shootings, the Chicago Police Department has been using ShotSpotter technology in neighborhoods on the South Side and West Side, where most of the violence occurs. The sensors are primarily in the Englewood and Harrison districts, police said.

Clark would not provide specifics about the Chicago program, but he said there are roughly 45 to 60 sensors here.

The company’s sensors cover 3 square miles in Chicago. There have been about 2,695 gunfire alerts since the sensors were installed in August 2012 — and some of those alerts involved multiple shots, Chicago Police said.

SST didn’t release figures about the ratio of Chicago’s gunfire alerts to 911 calls. The department will conduct its own review, police said.

Clark said every gunfire alert is sent to his company initially. His employees determine whether the sound was a shot or something else, such as a car backfiring, he said.

Police are notified when the sound is deemed a gunshot. The police are usually told in 35 to 45 seconds, Clark said.

“Maybe one in six sounds that you review are gunshots that you tell the police about,” he said.

Clark said the technology is able to pinpoint gunshots within a 10-meter area. The company can tell police whether the shooter was firing an automatic weapon or a handgun; whether there were several shooters; and whether the shooter was moving, he said.

In August 2012, Chicago entered a $200,000 annual contract to lease the ShotSpotter sensors. Asset forfeiture funds cover the cost, police said.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

ShotSpotter’s National Gunfire Index shows more about gun violence in America than any other source. Traditional measures of gun violence grossly underestimate the number of illegal shootings in the US. ShotSpotter technology confirmed more than 51,000 incidents of criminal gunfire. It’s time to reveal the truth about gunfire in America! Download report and infographic at



This past weekend, Brockton Police responded to a ShotSpotter GLS alert and nabbed two suspects, each with multiple warrants. A 9mm handgun was also recovered. This is a prime example of  good policework and technology making our streets safer.

Way to go Brockton Police!


BROCKTON —The city’s police gang unit made two weekend arrests, thanks to the department’s gunshot-detection system, police say.

Police early Saturday arrested Jerry Fernandes-Dasilva, 20, of 177 Bowdoin St., Boston, and charged him with unlawful carrying of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, receiving stolen property, two default warrants and one charge of unlawful possession of a large-capacity feeding device (magazine).

About 2:39 a.m. Saturday, police said their “ShotSpotter” system picked up three gunshots in the area of 33 Dover St.

People are known to throw after-hours parties in an old factory near that address, said police Lt. Paul Bonanca.

Police say they observed someone ducking down in a parking lot and placing a firearm above the tire of Ford F-150.

Authorities arrested Fernandes-Dasilva and recovered 9mm handgun with five rounds. Police also found three shell casings in the area.

Police arrested the second man nearby. Herico Andrade, 27, of 63 Tremont St., Brockton, was arrested on three warrants, according to police.

Brockton police have used the gunshot-detection system since early 2010, Bonanca said.

The ShotSpotter system picks up the sound of gunfire using a series of sensors and, through an acoustic-based global positioning system, sends the location to police immediately. It can also tell how many guns have been fired.