ShotSpotter Sounds Great, but Does It Reduce Gun Violence?

Reaction Is Mixed in the Neighborhood Where the City Wants to Place Microphones and Cameras

Comments

1
SPD doesn't report "hearing gunshots" as evidence of gunfire. Someone actually has to see the person firing the weapon, find bullet holes or shell casings and have those logged into police evidence for it to actually count as a report of gunfire. It doesn't sound as though that happened in any of the cases mentioned in the story.

For example, people "hear gunshots" in Ballard on a regular basis, but if you look at the official police reports actual gunshots are rarely reported.
3
@2 And if the Feds are paying...
4
It would be very edifying if some tenacious reporter would attempt to follow the money on this proposal; also: police body cameras, intersection ticketing cameras, and even some of the suppression of municipal internet in deference to private interests. imagine if some of your bits of thumb-tacked yarn tended to converge on just a few agents. [jauntily adjusts tin foil hat]
5
Would have loved to have some of these set up back when I was living in the CD. Gunshots never reported to police, never investigated when they were. Install them, so we can have some actual physical record of all the shit SPD chooses to ignore.
6
How long before the system fires back with indelible purple dye?
7
East Oakland resident here (formerly from PNW). We have Shotspotter and I can't say it really works that well. It DOES cost money. Lots of money. You have to subscribe with the company that installed it in order to use it. You don't just set it up and then catch the bad guys. If you run out of funding, then you are S.O.L. I can hear the gunshots just fine from my home. Once someone shoots/gets shot, it's done. The police can send a car to the area, but by then, they are gone.
8
I live in a smallish city in the south, my neighborhood is mostly upper middle class white but is surrounded by less prosperous African American homes. To say my neighbors are paranoid racists is putting it mildly. Simply put, my neighbors were firing their guns in the air in their backyards and reporting "shot fired" to the police to get a cruiser to come through the neighborhood. In one year I had to repair four bullet holes in my roof (none penetrated, all different calibers.). Bullets shot straight up have to come down somewhere. With the installation of shot spotter this practice ended so it worked well for me. As far as gun violence, as opposed to gun stupidity, I'm not sure how well it would work.
9
It sounds as if the technology isn't there yet, or simply isn't implemented in this setup. With that many false positives, it's going to be the microphones that cried wolf, keeping cops from doing other things to investigate, or burning them out on it so that they ignore it entirely.

The lack of transparency from the company and the need for a subscription makes it sound like a real money pit, and pretty useless. I say this as someone living in a neighborhood with a lot of "actual" shots fired.
12
How short your memories are. This was a very big deal a few years ago. There were numerous cases where people were recorded by the ShotSpotter surveillance equipment when no gun shots were fired. Just people expecting privacy while walking down a public street with no warning signs of being recorded. The courts favored the police and people ended up inprisoned, because ShotSpotter is a continual recording device.
I just hope it isn't too close to your home, or car, or back yard, or bedroom. Our government has shown its true colors about how it values your privacy, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Better not be gay or queer or not-white and live too close to one of these.
13
Gun violence in the USA is at an all-time historical LOW. Look it up. Suicide is at an all-time high. Use of Big Pharma's prescriptions for depression and anxiety is also at an all-time high. If anyone is killing masses of people, it is because their prescription messed them up. This has nothing to do with guns. Go after Big Pharma.