Dayton may use tech that listens for gunshots, pinpoints location

The city of Dayton is considering using new technology to quickly alert police when gunshots are fired in a designated surveillance area.

The city is looking at approving a contract with ShotSpotter to install audio sensors that detect gunshots and quickly notify police of where the shots were fired.

ShotSpotter promises to detect and accurately locate about 90 percent of outdoor gunshots within 25 meters of the actual firing location, according to city documents.

The company says that 80 percent of gunshots are never reported to 911, which means evidence is not collected, the community may feel police don’t care and shooting victims can die from their wounds.

“The use of this technology enhances officer safety and effectiveness by providing critical data when dispatching officers, aiding potential victims and collecting evidence,” according to a Dayton city manger’s report.

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On Wednesday, Dayton city commissioners will vote on a $205,000 service agreement with ShotSpotter for a subscription-based gunshot-detection system.

The police department proposes installing an acoustic surveillance system that uses 15 to 25 audio sensors per square mile. The contracts states the designated coverage area will be at least three square miles.

If the agreement is approved, ShotSpotter will install the acoustic equipment and will monitor the city’s system 24/7 to review and confirm suspected gunshots before alerting police.

ShotSpotter says it will identify the location of gunshots in the surveillance area within about 82 feet.

Company staff would then notify police dispatch system’s mobile data computers and smartphones within 30 to 60 seconds of detecting gunfire.

The company says the alerts will show a precise dot on a map with the actual recording of the gunfire.

ShotSpotter technology is used in more than 90 U.S. cities.

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