ShotSpotter Detects 39,000 Washington, D.C., Gunfire Incidents in 8 Years


About 39,000 incidents of gunfire in eight years have been documented by ShotSpotter's web of at least 300 acoustic sensors across 20 square miles of Washington, D.C., says a Washington Post analysis of data obtained through a public-records request. The newspaper says it offers “an unprecedented view of gun crime in a city where shooting a firearm is illegal in virtually all circumstances.”

Gunfire logged by ShotSpotter exceeds the number of officially reported felony gun crimes by more than 2 to 1. More than one-half of incidents detected involve multiple rounds of gunfire. In 2009, ShotSpotter captured more than 9,000 incidents. That number has fallen by 40 percent in recent years as gun homicides have declined sharply. D.C. is the biggest client of ShotSpotter maker SST of Newark, Ca. Police Chief Cathy Lanier calls it “a valuable tool that provides almost instantaneous alerts that allow officers to be dispatched quicker for the sound of gunshots.”

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