Could a high-tech solution help solve Seattle’s rising gun violence problem? On Thursday, The City of Seattle’s Public Safety Committee plans to discuss the possibilities of installing ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system that uses acoustic sensors and software to triangulate where shots were fired. Meanwhile, an accompanying video surveillance system can be used to capture images of criminals fleeing the scene.
The company claims that in some communities as few as 20 percent of gunshots are reported to 911. And it says that the acoustic sensors can pick up gunshots from as far away as 1,000 to 2,000 meters.
Founded in 1995, here’s how Mountain View, California company describes its technology:
When gunfire occurs outdoors, ShotSpotter Flex sensors and software triangulate and pinpoint the precise location of each round fired within seconds. Detailed incident data is immediately sent to the SST Operations Center, our secure data processing and alert qualification facility. Immediately, a SST gunfire and acoustic expert analyzes the data, qualifies the incident and sends a validated alert to the dispatch center or other Public Safety Answer Points (PSAP) and even directly to mobile and field personnel.
KING 5 reports that the technology is already in use in 70 cities across the country, including San Francisco, Boston and Minneapolis. The system could cost the city between $40,000 to $60,000 per square mile, with three “hot zones” targeted for initial deployments.
Here’s a report on the technology from our media partner, KING 5.