Baltimore police begin using ShotSpotter audio sensors to track gunshots

Baltimore police begin using ShotSpotter audio sensors to track gunshots

Baltimore police rolled out technology this week that aims to help them locate the scenes of gunshots using a network of audio sensors.

Police on Thursday began using ShotSpotter, a series of audio sensors atop light posts and buildings that triangulate the sounds of gunshots to pinpoint their location. The system sends real-time alerts to the Baltimore Police Department with the goal of helping police respond to shootings more quickly.

When gunfire is detected, acoustic experts review the shots and alert law enforcement within 30 seconds to a minute of the shots being fired, according to a news release. The technology has been deployed across a 5-square-mile section of Baltimore.

Baltimore officials have considered installing an audio shot-detection system several times during the last decade, and backed out of previous initiatives to purchase the equipment.

Baltimore plans gunshot detection system to aid investigations

Mayor Catherine Pugh said in a statement she’s hopeful ShotSpotter will help reduce gun violence in the city, which has seen 111 homicides this year to date. Of those killings, 99 have been shooting deaths, according to data compiled by the Baltimore Sun.

“We are confident that the implementation of this sophisticated intelligence gathering capability will enhance our efforts to get illegal guns and criminals off our streets,” Pugh said.

ShotSpotter is used in more than 85 cities in the U.S.

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