$1.5 million Spent by NYPD on electronic ears for gunshots surveillance

NYPD cops have started testing a system, which allows them to immediately track the location within 82feet from where a gun was fired.

This system is already implemented and used by cops in various other U.S states. It is called the ““ShotSpotter” technology and uses strategically placed auditory sensors that transmit gunshot location info to cops and thus, ensure rapid response from the police department.

“ShotSpotter” costs $1.5million and requires approx. a year for setting and operation.


The system is quite smart and can predict the areas where subsequent shots can take place allowing police to prevent a possible crime and handle the situation with adequate backup and caution.

NYPD commissioner William J. Bratton stated that the system will let cops respond to such incidents in a much “more timely manner, and provide us with the ability to help victims, solve crimes and apprehend dangerous suspects more quickly.”

In the Bronx, this system as part of a pilot program became functional from Monday midnight and within no time the cops learned about its value and workability since it picked up the first gunshot within just an hour.

Next area for the system’s trial will be Brooklyn, where the system will be operational from coming week. If it proves to be efficient enough, then the remaining boroughs will be receiving it as well.

The first use of ShotSpotter in this city was observed during 2009 but the software’s detection capability was unreliable back then and this led to numerous false alarms.

However, with the advancements in technology and incorporation of trained verifiers who evaluate the audio prior to alerting the police have tremendously improved this system’s accuracy.

Hopefully, ShotSpotter will aid NYPD to ensure an accurate picture of the rising gun activity around the city.

Bratton informed that data from other cities that have implemented this system like Boston and Washington DC indicate that almost 75% of the detected gunshots aren’t notified to cops through emergency calls.

Unsurprisingly though, several officials have questioned and demanded assurances from the police department regarding the usage of the collected data since the system involves using an extensive network of highly sensitive microphones placed at public areas.

If critics are satisfied, assurances are accepted and the system proves its usability, then we can expect ShotSpotter to be implemented across the country in near future.

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