Police begin using new gunshot-detection system in Kansas City - KCTV5

Police begin using new gunshot-detection system in Kansas City

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New gunshot-detection technology was released Monday that could help Kansas City police pinpoint the location of gunfire.

Police are tight lipped about where they are using the ShotSpotter Flex gunshot detection system that tracks the address, the number of shots fired and the number of weapons used.

The system is described as a partnership between police and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. The high-tech effort also includes experts in California who can determine if a sound is in fact gunshots and not a car back firing or fireworks.

If the expert determines the sound is a gunshot, they contact Kansas City police dispatch who will then get a map of the area where the gunshots were fired and send officers right to the address.

The whole process takes about 45 to 60 seconds, getting officers on the scene quickly. The data can also be monitored to determine where more officers are needed.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver helped secure $720,000 for five years of ShotSpotter service.

"We have a very serious problem each year.  We have a hundred homicides or close to it, and that is just not acceptable. It is not acceptable for the people who live in the neighborhoods who buy their homes and would like to live in a crime-free neighborhood," Cleaver said.

Police don't want criminals to discover the locations that are being monitored.  However, the system covers about 3.5 square miles in the urban core and includes the Troost MAS bus line and the Green Impact Zone.

"The crooks are going to find that if they shoot a gun in this spot unless they are Superman or maybe Spiderman they are not going to be able to get out of there before police come to the very spot where the shot originated," Cleaver said.

ShotSpotter is already used in about 70 other U.S. cities.

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