Q: What is ShotSpotter?
A: ShotSpotter is a "Gunfire Detection" technology that utilizes acoustic sensors, or microphones, that are placed in a designated area of deployment. The sensors are placed specifically on light poles, public buildings, or telephone poles. Once the sensors detect gunfire, this then begins the process of notifying the DeSoto Police Department.
Q: If this is in place, do I still call 9-1-1 if I hear something that sounds like a gunshot?
A: YES! Even if this system is in place, please still call in anytime you hear something that sounds like a gunshot.
Q: What area will be covered?
A: The coverage area can be seen in the image above. The sensors only detect gunshot locations within this area. Gunshots fired outside of this area are not detected by the ShotSpotter system.
Q: I live in a neighborhood outside the coverage area. Does ShotSpotter work my in my neighborhood?
A: No. ShotSpotter will only detect gunshots within the areas identified in the map above.
Q: Does ShotSpotter use cameras to take photos or video?
A: No. ShotSpotter is an acoustic-based system. While it may be integrated with video systems, the Durham Police Department nor the City of Durham will utilize ShotSpotter with cameras or similar devices.
Q: Why do we need this system?
A: ShotSpotter is a computerized acoustic monitoring system that detects loud noises and accurately differentiates between gunfire and other loud noises such as fireworks, bangs, pops, and other sounds. This helps to eliminate false alarms and automatically dispatches police to the exact site of a firearm that is discharged within the monitoring area.
Q: How is the City paying for this?
A: The DeSoto City Council allocated grant funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to begin this service in DeSoto.
Q: Is the System always listening?
A: The system contract requires that only one (1) second of sound on either side of the detected gunfire will be captured by the system. Sensors will be placed with the knowledge and consent of the property owner.
Q: What does the System of Sensors do?
A: The multiple sensors will detect gunfire and pinpoint the location of the sound within 25 meters.
Q: Who monitors these sensors?
A: Sensor data is reviewed by a technician and verified by specially trained ShotSpotter employees. After verification, the location and strategic information is provided by the mobile application to the DeSoto Police Department.
Q: What strategic information is provided by the app?
A: The app will send the incident location (a dot on the map), they type of gunfire (single round, multiple round), unique id number, date and time of the blast (trigger time), number of shots, district identification, beat identification.
Q: What are some performance measures?
A: 90% detection, located within 25 meters, alerts provided within 60 seconds 90% of the time.
Q: How Accurate is ShotSpotter?
A: Per the ShotSpotter website, the system is highly accurate at detecting outdoor gunshots. In 2019 the system had a 97% aggregate accuracy rate across all of ShotsSpotter customers including a very small false positive rate of less than 0.5% of all reported gunfire incidents. You can read the results of an independent audit by Edgeworth Analytics here.