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photo credit: NYPD

ShotSpotter is a technology that picks up on the sound of gunfire and alerts police to it

photo credit: NYPD

By the end of the summer, the NYPD is expanding its ShotSpotter program to Fort Greene and Washington Heights reports amny.com. ShotSpotter is a technology that picks up on the sound of gunfire and alerts police to it. Currently, the technology is available across 54 square miles in all five boroughs; the expansion will increase the coverage to 60 square miles. It will cost about $4.5 million to operate for 2017.

“It’s contributed to faster response times to 911 calls or to incidents of shots fired,” Jessica Tisch, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of information technology. “We know about more shots fired incidents in the city because of ShotSpotter.”

The technology, which was launched as a pilot program in 2015, consists of sensitive microphones to pick up sounds that might be gunfire and uses sensors to locate where the shots were fired. The data is then transmitted to a technician at the ShotSpotter headquarters in California where the sounds are analyzed to determine if the threat is real and if the police needs to be notified.

With the technology, NYPD hopes to be able identify the start of incidents that involve gunfire which may not always result in a 911 call. Tisch said that only about 16 percent of ShotSpotter alerts also have someone call and report shots fired to police; the NYPD credits ShotSpotter with a number of gun arrests. This year there have been 1,740 activations of the technology so far. The system also has about a 5 percent false reporting rate.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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