Mobile acoustical sensors have been used in Afghanistan to help U.S. soldiers pinpoint the location of snipers seconds after being fired upon. Now, East Orange, N.J., police will test the same technology for the next six months in hopes of increasing response time to reports of gunfire in the city, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. The acoustic gunshot detection sensors will be synchronized with video cameras strategically placed around the city. Once the sensors detect a gunshot, the cameras will aim their lenses in the direction of that gunfire, and record everything happening in that location.
East Orange is believed to be the first community in the Northeast to employ the system. Through the use of dozens of small movable acoustical sensor boxes and video surveillance cameras placed around the four-square-mile city, East Orange police expect to be able to respond to violence far more quickly than by waiting for a citizen’s phone call. The system is being fine-tuned for large-scale use in Newport News, Va. Police officials in Austin, Texas, tested the system in 2001 but decided it did not serve law enforcement needs there.