Chicago Deploys Gun Shot Detection Technology

Windy City officials give the go-ahead for gun shot detection system installation in three neighborhoods around the city.

by / October 26, 2012

Gunfire detection technology is going to get another shot in Chicago, CBS reported.

Already being used in dozens of cities around the country, “ShotSpotter” technology will be installed in three-square-mile locations in the Englewood, Chicago Lawn, Harrison and Grand Crossing police districts.

Gun shot detection was tested in Chicago in 2003 and again in 2007, but in both instances the technology was found to be ineffective and too expensive. “You know, that’s a century in the technological world. They’ve improved it dramatically,” said Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. “It’s very, very accurate. My understanding is it triangulates it to sometimes down to a foot, or three feet.”

The $200,000 upgrade, which was covered by “forfeited assets,” has already been used successfully in several cases, McCarthy said. “In these incidents, ShotSpotter successfully identified shots fired events, and effectively directed our officers before receiving 911 calls for service from the public,” he said.

While about 70 cities around the country have adopted ShotSpotter technology, some cities are still hesitant. In July, Seattle was considering the technology after a rapid increase in gun-related violence, but nothing so far has materialized.

Officials of Hempstead in Long Island, N.Y., also recently announced they would install ShotSpotter technology as their neighbors in Roosevelt and Uniondale did. Those neighborhoods both saw a decrease in violence since installation, according to the Long Island Report.

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