ShotSpotter program helps police detect sound of gunfire - KCTV5

ShotSpotter program helps police detect sound of gunfire

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ShotSpotter program helps police locate sounds of gunfire (KCTV5) ShotSpotter program helps police locate sounds of gunfire (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

There are programs available that aim to curb the number of gun shots that ring out in certain areas.

In some parts of the metro, the sound of gunfire is all too common. In those same areas, that sound does not always lead to action by witnesses.

"Ninety percent of the time, those shots are not reported to 911, particularly most afflicted communities that hear it all the time," said Ralph Clark, the president and CEO of ShotSpotter.

A few years ago Kansas City, MO, police installed special equipment to better pinpoint where shots are fired. Kansas City spent $720,000 on a five-year deal with a high-tech company to install ShotSpotter equipment.

The ShotSpotter equipment is a series of microphones that are designed to detect the location of a gunshot within 10 feet. The equipment can also detect the caliber of the weapon and is able to notify police in under a minute.

Officer Richard Verticelli of the Camden, New Jersey Police Department explains how the ShotSpotter helps catch criminals.

“It helps with catching the guys, but it also helps with officer safety because these officers are not traveling blindly into an area where gunfire is,” said Verticelli.

Since the installation of the ShotSpotters in the urban core of Kansas City in 2012, it has made a difference.

“That has helped us in several different cases,” said Capt. Tye Grant of Kansas City Police Department.

Grant says the department has ‘spotted’ an estimated 20 percent more gun shots in the areas where the devices are located. Microphones are mounted on rooftops and inside buildings, but the program will only be available for one more year before the deal runs out.

“The funding runs out in 2017,” said Grant. “It's definitely proved its assistance with us that it's a positive thing for us to have, so we're trying to identify funding to help us keep it, possibly even expand it.”

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