ShotSpotter continues to help OPD with urgency

Published: Jan. 25, 2017 at 11:46 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

With the growing concern for gun violence in cities across the country, police departments need to be as efficient as possible in getting to the scene. Just like many areas in this digital world, technology is adapting.

Police departments across the country look to ShotSpotter for accuracy and location.

“It's an always present and unbiased source of information for us,” said OPD Captain Scott Gray. “We don't have to rely on people to call 911. It's always listening.”

Captain Gray says the overall number of gunshots in Omaha has been steadily decreasing since ShotSpotter was installed four years ago.

“A lot of times officers are already close by. If they can get there quick and find somebody still on scene, then it's definitely a great tool for us,” said Captain Gray

Gray says the analytics are impressive to say the least.

“It can separate out individual shots and plot them on the map so we can see a chain of events,” Gray explained. “We can even see movement like if a shooter is in a car.”

Gray says there are sensors in undisclosed locations all across the city. When a gunshot is detected, it first goes to a call center in California which then weeds out non-gunfire, like fireworks.

“Between the computer filter and the person listening to it, we get pretty accurate results. That information gets back to us within about 20 seconds and the officers are dispatched to that location,” said Gray.

Captain Gray says the call will bring officers within 25 meters of the incident. That's what ShotSpotter guarantees, but most times, he says it's so accurate they're within only a few feet, which helps the urgency factor.

“We just had a shooting a couple of weeks ago. The ShotSpotter alert came out quite a few seconds before the shooting came out,” Gray added. “It allows for officers to already be en route to an urgent event like that and help save some lives.”

ShotSpotter claims its technology is constantly updating to ensure safety of citizens.