ShotSpotter Technology Now Used in Over 80 Cities Worldwide

More and more cities are using ShotSpotter to locate gunfire. Knowing where and when gunfire occurs and how many shooters are involved lets police enter into crime scenes more safely and informed.


Image  —  Posted: June 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sobering indeed is the news that there have been seventy-four school shootings since the Newtown school massacre of December 2012. The KRON news cast features a map pinpointing each of these incidents, and the school gunfire is spread all across the nation, north to south, east to west. But just as disturbing as the map are the safety products springing up in response to these school shootings: bullet proof mats for students to hide under, whiteboards that teachers can use as shields against gunfire and that students can place in their backpacks to protect them from bullets. Images of teachers holding up whiteboards to shield themselves and their students from gunshots would be almost humorous were the need for such products not so alarmingly real. As crazy as they may seem, these technologies make a kind of sense.

But not as much sense as ShotSpotter. ShotSpotter’s ability to track and locate illegal gunfire is one of the most practical and responsible ways to respond to illegal shootings. Knowing when shots are fired and where they were fired facilitates not just public safety, but also provides data for social scientists to study the psychological and sociological effects of illegal gunfire. Plus, ShotSpotter’s SST technology allows gunfire to be located within buildings — school buildings and other structures. Knowing where and when illegal gunfire occurs is a crucial first step towards making our schools — and our society — safer.

Video  —  Posted: June 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


Residents of Carolina Place — Ardmore aren’t having any more of it.

Violent crimes, thefts, reckless drivers. “People are sick of it,” said Laura Trivett, a past president of the community association who in the same breath described crashed automobiles landing in front yards and what feels to her like increasingly routine claps of gunfire waking this tight-knit, neighbor-bonded locale.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Trivett, who’s lived there since the 1990s. The neighborhood, of mostly well-kept early 20th century homes, generally spreads off Market Street east of 17th Street, with Wallace Park a sort of identifying marker.

Worried that recent Wilmington Police Department operations have pushed crime from other parts of town into this one, residents of Carolina Place-Ardmore arranged a meeting Monday night with WPD officers and City Hall officials for context and solutions. Contingents from the surrounding Forest Hills, Chestnut Heights and Brookwood neighborhoods joined in, packing Temple Baptist Church near 18th and Market.

Charlie Blanton, Carolina Place-Ardmore’s current association president, said concern began to build last fall when shots rang out of a gray Honda coupe (as witnesses described) and fatally struck a teenager riding on a moped through Forest Hills. The shooting was in broad daylight, at around 4:30 p.m.

“We’ve been seeing some other unusual crimes kind of spill into our neighborhoods, and we want to do something about it,” Blanton said Monday.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous was candid with possible reasons for the perceived incline.

“I know some of you have expressed concerns that we have been pushing crime out of some areas of the city into your neighborhood. Is that an accurate description?” he asked the residents, who nodded heads.

“It seems like a perception,” Blanton told the chief.

“A perception of that, alright,” said Evangelous. “There may be some actual truth to that.”

In 2013–a year spiked with local gang and gun violence–the police department stepped up efforts to allay crime fears in certain neighborhoods and reduce criminal activity in public housing communities. And it’s working out to be a “tremendous” success, over all forms of crime, Evangelous declared.

“We also knew that we displaced some of that crime, and we have to have the ability to address that as it starts to pop up” in other parts of Wilmington, he told Monday’s gathering.

The Forest Hills shooting, for instance, didn’t start in Forest Hills, he noted. The parties involved knew each other, and they’d driven into Forest Hills from another part of town.

Since then, the police department has expanded its ShotSpotter–or gunfire detection–program over that entire area. “If there’s any gunfire at all, we’re notified within seconds in our cars, and we can respond, and we do respond, very quickly,” said the chief.

According to Wilmington Police Capt. Donny Williams, ShotSpotter can differentiate between gunfire and fireworks. It can even detect what caliber of bullets are involved and can zero in on the area where shots occur within a matter of feet.

Officers are performing more foot patrols through those neighborhoods and will add bicycle units as staffing increases, the department said. And a staffing plan is in the works to examine how, where and when to distribute the city’s officers for effective community policing all across the city.

Much of the crime numbers in Carolina Place-Ardmore are property-related, officers told residents Monday. And even then, a lot of these incidents–stolen bikes, items pilfered from unlocked cars–go unreported, so what’s on paper isn’t necessarily reflective of reality. Part 1 crime, however–the category covering violent and property offenses–is slightly down in the neighborhood, according to numbers given out Monday.

A woman who spoke up from the audience said it’s on residents to lock their doors and secure their property; a greater concern is for the neighborhood’s children, who are crossing streets to visit friends or head to Wallace Park. Roughly a fifth of the area’s residents are children ages 1-15, according to census data.

Residents called the strip of 21st Street, which runs right alongside the park, the “21st Street Speedway.” After voices grew loud demanding some sort of mitigation there, City Traffic Engineering Manager Don Bennett informed the audience that his department’s budget is essentially void of capital funds for projects of that sort.

And it’s not as easy as saying “speed bumps,” either, he said; the city doesn’t add them anymore because they hinder emergency vehicles.

But a number of residents Monday had their minds on a much more dramatic traffic project; reducing their section of Market Street–mainly between 17th Street and Colonial Drive–from four to two lanes. That would mean one lane in each direction with added pedestrian- and bike-friendly features.

Currently, it’s too narrow and treacherous, and accidents–which have damaged historic homes and even caused deaths–sadly aren’t surprising, residents say. So they’re calling on officials to implement that “road diet,” which has been on the books for years.

There’s even a petition (here), with about 600 signatures on it to date, asking the City of Wilmington to do what’s necessary to bring the project together.

“This needs to be done for safety and to preserve the residential and pedestrian-oriented character of this important resource,” the petition narrative reads. It claims that in April 2013 alone, 10 traffic incidents occurred in that area and included a pedestrian fatality (by a hit-and-run driver) “and a three-car serial collision that ended up with two cars on the sidewalks and two people taken to the hospital.”

A traffic diet for that strip of Market Street, which is a state-maintained road, also recently went on the wishlist of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, which argues the four-lane setup is too tight and is causing the historic corridor to decay.

The Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization says a 2007 study recommended the road diet, but that the city and state should first accommodate traffic by completing an extension of Independence Boulevard from Market Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway–and that hasn’t happened yet, nor is it funded.

Trivett on Monday said that’s no excuse to delay the Market Street project, and that if enough demand echoes, it will have to proceed.

Otherwise, residents at Monday’s meeting wondered aloud how they can get the city to fund their various, immediate roadway and safety requests.

City Manager Sterling Cheatham was on hand.

“We have a budget process,” he said. “And it’s open to the public.”

Anybody can correspond with the city’s staff and council to make their requests known, he said.

Some residents were surprised to hear the window was essentially closed for input regarding the new budget that the city council will finalize June 17. The required public hearing has already passed, Cheatham said.

Only a few people spoke at that June 3 hearing. Cheatham noted that of those who did speak up, most thanked the city for funding their causes.

Story: City budget hearing draws few voices

“But you can still send an email to your council members,” Cheatham told residents.

For the meantime, the police say they’re ready to respond to any wrongdoings residents see in any part of town.

Said Lt. Kathy Cochran, “If you see something criminal, call us. That’s what we’re here for.”

Source: Port City Daily

PATERSON, N.J. — A 46-year-old is currently in stable condition following an upper body gunshot wound, according to a press release from Paterson Police Department Detective Lieutenant Patrick Murray.

The unnamed victim was standing in front of a Godwin Avenue residence on Friday night when he was approached by an unknown man. According to police, after a brief conversation, the man produced a handgun and fired a single shot, striking him once in the upper body.

The victim was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center by private vehicle.

Police were dispatched to the Godwin Avenue and Auburn Street location by a “ShotSpotter” activation.

The investigation is on going. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Rolando Polio or Detective Edgar Taylor of the Ceasefire Unit at 973-321-1342.

Source: The Alternative Press


MIAMI — Police in Miami are moving forward with plans to place about 400 new security cameras throughout the metro area.

The move will allow authorities to monitor the city through a high-tech command center with up to 200 closed-circuit television screens, The Miami Herald reported on Sunday.

The cameras would be attached on rooftops, street poles and existing red-light cameras. The news system will cost about $700,000, but half of the expense will be covered by federal anti-terrorism funds, the newspaper reported.

New York and London have similar systems and mounted cameras helped identify the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has criticized the plan, especially the use of facial-recognition technology.

Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said similar plans in Tampa and Oakland have failed.

He said Tampa dismantled its facial recognition system after ACLU complaints and too many false positives.

“The claim that out in public you have a reduced expectation of privacy is an abused standard by police,” Simon said.

Plans for the Miami surveillance system include ShotSpotter, a network of censors and GPS signals that are placed on strategic rooftops.

The device is activated when it hears an impulse of noises.

If the noise hits three censors, the technology can pinpoint where the noise is coming from within 10 meters.

The system has been criticized by some law enforcement agencies for misidentifying some sounds as gunshots.

But Miami police Chief Manuel Orosa said ShotSpotter will help the city fight crime.

Orosa said he plans to place between eight and 10 cameras linked to his command center, adjacent to censors.

When a censor detects gunfire it is relayed back to police in less than 30 seconds.

“Some of these cameras will be attached next to the ShotSpotter so that the shots go out, we put the camera on and we see exactly what’s going on,” Orosa said.

Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who heads up the Downtown Development Agency, which oversees economic development in Miami’s downtown neighborhoods around Flagler Street, said he supports the system.

“Anything we can do to help catch criminals is something I think we should do,” Sarnoff said.

Source: Miami Herald Tribune


SPRINGFIELD — A would-be killer fired 19 shots at a man as he ran along Grover Street Monday morning. The intended victim fled the scene on foot, and police say they found no evidence that he had been hit by any of the shots.

Springfield Police Lt. Thomas Maccini confirmed that investigators found spent 9mm shell casings at the scene of the 1:30 a.m. Liberty Heights incident. Maccini said witnesses told police a black Honda Accord was seen moving eastbound in the vicinity of 99 Grover Street.

At one point the car stopped and a black male got out and began shooting at a second black male walking on the sidewalk. The victim ran toward Liberty Street and fled the area. The shooter returned to the car, which was driven by a black male as well, and it left the area in the same direction.

Police were alerted to the incident when the city’s ShotSpotter system indicated 12 shots had been fired near the intersection of Grover and Liberty streets. Responding officers searched the area and eventually found 19 shell casings spread along the street. Maccini said there were no reported injuries, and no damage to homes or property was found.

Source: MassLive

A 36-year-old Wilmington man is recovering today after being shot multiple times Saturday near the Houston Moore public housing complex.

Bruce Lloyd suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the torso and buttocks in the 2:52 p.m. shooting at Greenfield and 13th streets, said Wilmington Police Department spokeswoman Linda Rawley.

Lloyd was found after ShotSpotter technology alerted officers that five shots had been fired, according to New Hanover County dispatchers.

Rawley said Lloyd was uncooperative with police.

The shooting is under investigation.

Source: Star News Online