Gunshot Detection System Urged For Boston Police


A sophisticated acoustic gunshot detection system that has helped North Charleston, S.C., solve a homicide, and police in Gary, Ind., make 15 gun arrests in a night may be on its way to Boston, says the Boston Globe. City Councilor Robert Consalvo wants to equip the city with a network of acoustic sensors, each the size of a 1-pound can of coffee, which can pinpoint the sound of gunfire within 30 feet of its origin and dispatch police to shooting scenes in fewer than 10 seconds. Consalvo believes such a network can help police stem Boston’s wave of gun violence, noting that much of it is concentrated in small ”red zones” that total about a half-square-mile. ”This will allow the police to respond in cases where people are afraid to call 911,” he said. ”It also tells the criminals that are out there: ‘We’re watching you.'”

Mayor Thomas Menino said he would consider the proposal. Last year, Boston hit a 10-year high of 75 homicides, 51 of them committed with a gun. The gunshot detection technology relies on a network of acoustic sensors that its manufacturer says can track gunfire from as far as 1 1/2 miles away and can isolate shots from other sounds. James G. Beldock, chairman of ShotSpotter Inc., said the system costs about $250,000 for the first 2 square miles of sensors. He said after the initial deployment, the cost drops to about $3,000 to $5,000 per sensor.


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