Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento police to target crime with gunshot-locating technology

As part of its effort to reduce violent crime, the Sacramento Police Department announced that it soon will begin using an acoustic technology called ShotSpotter to identify the location of gunshots.

A firearm produces a distinct noise signature that enables the system to distinguish gunfire from similar sounds such as firecrackers, bottle rockets or car backfires, according to a Police Department news release.

The department recently identified a 3-square-mile area in North Sacramento as the pilot area for the project. The system will be installed over the next few months and will be deployed for a one-year trial to improve officer response times and enhance community safety, police said.

The system instantly notifies officers of the locations of gunfire with real-time data delivered to dispatch centers, patrol cars and smartphones. Instant alerts are intended to enable first responders to aid victims, collect evidence, and quickly apprehend offenders, according to police.

When a gun is fired, ShotSpotter sensors through the coverage area are triggered, police said. The ShotSpotter Software Review Center analyzes the data and can pinpoint a location up to 25 feet. Dispatchers and officers in the field receive the information simultaneously, and dispatchers then work to coordinate officers responding to the area using either ShotSpotter software or the 911 system. Officers can arrive at the precise location within minutes and be fully aware of the situation before they get there, police said.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.