Preventing Gunfire On New Year's Eve--ShotSpotter Technology Advancing

Preventing Gunfire On New Year's Eve--ShotSpotter Technology Advancing

This is a discussion on Preventing Gunfire On New Year's Eve--ShotSpotter Technology Advancing within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This is pretty interesting stuff. ShotSpotter technology doesn't seem to be ready from prime time just yet--but it's coming along nicely. I don't see anything ...

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Thread: Preventing Gunfire On New Year's Eve--ShotSpotter Technology Advancing

  1. #1
    Member Array Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Preventing Gunfire On New Year's Eve--ShotSpotter Technology Advancing

    This is pretty interesting stuff. ShotSpotter technology doesn't seem to be ready from prime time just yet--but it's coming along nicely. I don't see anything wrong with it. When it gets improved to a reasonable accuracy level, it'll save lives, provide more info to responding officers, help solve crimes and deter law violating gun owners-carriers (LVGOC) from popping off rounds for giggles on holidays or other times.

    Check out the video in the link below. Overall, it'll be pretty darn good technology. (It's not there yet.)

    What do others think?


    Quote Originally Posted by KABC

    Police urge residents to avoid shooting guns into air on New Year's Eve
    By Melissa MacBride

    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Firing guns into the air is not only illegal, it can be lethal. As officials say, what goes up must come down. Police have new technology able to track down random gunfire, and the shooters, in L.A.

    At the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve, millions will celebrate. But officials in Los Angeles County hope residents will do so without shooting guns into the air.

    "We know what goes up does come down and when it comes down it is not a pleasant set of circumstances," said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

    Last New Year's Eve the county received 156 reports of shots fired. The sheriff's department and the LAPD are teaming up to enforce the law this year, using technology to pinpoint where shots are fired.

    L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca said the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System technology is roughly 95 percent accurate. The system triangulates the sound of a gunshot. The location is sent to the dispatch center, alerting deputies even before residents call in. On Sunday night, the ShotSpotter tracked down a gunshot victim.

    "Had we not been able to locate this person, because no one called 911, no one called emergency, this individual could have possibly died," said Sheriff Baca.

    So far this year, shots-fired calls in L.A. city limits are down 43 percent, a trend LAPD Chief William Bratton hopes to continue.

    "Last year we seized 45 weapons during the two-day period, December 31st through January 1st," said Chief Bratton.

    Authorities aren't saying exactly where the new system is located but they remind everyone shooting a gun in the air is a felony and if you're caught it's punishable by one year in state prison.

    New technology helps police track down shots fired in county - 12/29/08 - Los Angeles-Southern California-LA Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports - abc7.com


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Well, you can plainly see it's working.....tracking down victims. I wonder just how much this system cost the taxpayers. In my opinion......thumbs down.

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    I wonder how it distinguishes gunfire from fireworks.
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    It's certainly coming along, but I wonder how many lives it will actually save. Shots have to be fired for it to work, so unless those who fired the shots are cops or are guys sticking around for a longer fight, it's hard to see how this will be any sort of preventive measure. I do agree that it'll increase the odds of catching bad guys, though, and that alone makes it okay in my book.


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    Member Array concealed's Avatar
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    If it truly saves lives, it is worth it. Not sure it will though. Statistics are a funny thing, so I am sure they will show benefit.

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    Senior Member Array community's Avatar
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    gee, I always use a bell. actually, i cant stay up till midnight.

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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    There is a system like that that ties on with surveilance cameras and directs them to the location. A bit "Big Brother" but if it gets crooks arrested and off the street?
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    Member Array CTurner91's Avatar
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    All I can see this doing is helping people find the bodies of said victims. I know most criminals aren't exactly the sharpest of the knives... but I know if I was a criminal and I was going to go to the trouble of shooting somebody... Id make sure the job was finished.

    Sure it will probably save a handful of lives but I still don't think the gains will be worth the cost of this thing.

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    I've attached a New Orleans news article of a guy that was recently hit by a falling bullet. I remember an episode of Mythbusters doing some "test" shots about this same situation. To me there are two types of falling bullets, (1) the bullet that is fired essentially straight up and falls back down entirely due to gravity, (2) the bullet that is fired somewhat upward but travels a long arching loop back to earth and the bullet remains ballistically stable in flight. I don't want to be hit by either, however #2 would likely be much worse than #1.

    Quite a few years ago my wife and I were staying with relatives overnight in Memphis, TN, on New Year's Eve night. About 11:45 pm the noisy celebration started and lasted about 30 minutes, of course it peaked at midnight. My wife said wow, that was a lot of firecrackers, and my response was...... "that ain't firecrackers", and it wasn't, it was probably 75% gunfire........unbelievable.


    Man struck by falling bullet lucky to be alive

    03:25 PM CST on Thursday, January 1, 2009

    Paul Murphy and Tom Planchet / Eyewitness News

    NEW ORLEANS, La. – Ricardo Perrault said he was separating some fireworks to light just minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve when he felt a pain and then searing sensation in his upper back.




    What he initially thought was a bottle rocket that had been launched in his grandparent’s New Orleans East neighborhood, was instead a falling bullet that left a deep gash in his back and came within inches of doing worse damage by striking him in the spine or head.


    “Something hit me so hard, I swear it felt like a sledgehammer,” said Perrault.


    “If he had been hit an inch in either direction, it would have come straight down on his head and he would not be here today,” said his mother Lynette.


    Perrault says the grace of God kept his injury from being worse. X-rays from his trip to the hospital didn’t show a bullet lodged in his body but he said he was told that based on the size of the injury, it was likely from a 9mm gun or a .45 caliber gun.


    Just before noon Thursday, Perrault found the bullet in his grandparent’s backyard with the aid of an Eyewitness News crew. He said it still contained some black fuzz from the sweatshirt he had been wearing when he was struck.


    “That’s a big bullet,” he exclaimed. “I can’t believe this. By the grace of God I’m standing here today.”


    Both Perrault and his mother say they are angry that people continue to celebrate the New Year by sending bullets into the air, unconcerned about where they may land.


    “I’m really frustrated,” he said. “It already killed one person several years ago. You’ve got tons of kids out celebrating, elderly people…”


    The NOPD said it received 56 calls about gunfire on New Year's Eve, down from 66
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    Member Array JohnHenry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    Well, you can plainly see it's working.....tracking down victims. I wonder just how much this system cost the taxpayers. In my opinion......thumbs down.
    I'm not familiar with this specific technology, but suspect that it comes from military technology development. Many of these types of things do, so the burden on the taxpayers (and I'm one...ouch!) is primarily for the military rather than any big brother cities.

    I've seen technology (unclassified) that can localize and track mortars when fired from behind cover, by the heat and visual signature, and then "hand over" the info to a vehicle to engage the mortar (as well as the launcher) in real time....seconds. Fantastic stuff.

    So does this work? Sure, it should, with sufficient sensors deployed. Time isn't an issue (minutes is a long time in this arena) and detecting and differentiating a gunshot from something else (like fireworks) shouldn't be that bad. Now, echoes and baffles in cities might be an issue.....
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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    This may work if the people stay outside, and continue the party. For the guy who runs outside, empties the cylinder or magazine, and runs back inside, there will be nothing to find when we get there. We are spread thin enough, anyway, that we generally are too busy on New Year's Eve to respond in a timely manner to gunshot calls. We might manage to make an example of one or two people, with such a gadget, if some units were kept out of the calls-for-service loop, and deployed close to the most likely neighborhoods. But, that strategy would work even without the gadgets. It is a matter of being able to spare the folks to dedicate to the task.

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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    There's nothing particularly new about this idea. It should work just fine, but there would have to be sensors EVERYWHERE. The problem of course is that sound bounces readily against things like exterior walls, turning the entire city into an echo chamber when someone fires a gun. Unless sensor(s) have near line-of-sight, the origin would be very difficult to determine.

    If this actually works my guess would be they put a sensor at every intersection. Doesn't exactly sound cheap.
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Engage your thinkers: whether New Year's or any other time- the system activates when a shot is fired. It doesn't block bullets with a magic force-field. No "lives will be saved."

    How well are similar systems serving those being shot and assaulted in the EU? Yeah. It's a real life-saving, recidivism-reducing mechanism.

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    Actually the system is intended to be used to track down terrorist snipers by pin-pointing the exact location of where the shots are emanating from.
    So it will eventually have a useful purpose.
    It actually did nail the exact location of a freeway sniper but, the police response time to that location was a wee bit too slow.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    The system may be useful if it leads to arrests, or if the victim is discovered earlier and can be saved. We had two different cases here recently where a victim was shot at night and not found until the next morning. Without equipment like this, it is hard to pinpoint the direction of a gun shot. A few times, I checked wiht neighbors if they heard a gunshot I heard close by and while they did, they thought it came from a very different direction. A cop may be a couple blocks away from the shot and have a chance to get to the location quick enough to identify the shooter.

    At least this is the idea. The system works by measuring the time it takes for the sound to arrive at different sensors. The first peak counts, so echos matter less. The time resolution is not that terrible bad. With about 1/100 of a second, you get a lateral resolution of about 10 yards, which should be sufficient. The system is still not cheap to install as all the sensors need to be connected.
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