Baltimore City to Install Gunfire-Recognition System
Updated: Thursday, July 10 2014, 06:44 PM EDT
A system that recognizes the sound of gunfire, triangulates the location and sends an automatic signal to nearby surveillance cameras, will soon be installed in sections of Baltimore City. The ShotSpotter system is already being used in other US cities, including Washington, DC.
"We can give you the speed and direction of a drive by shooting for example," ShotSpotter rep. Jack Pontious said. "We can tell you how many gunshots, if there's more than one shooter. We can tell you who shot first because we're accurate down to one hundredth of a second."
The sensors are set up to cover an area as large, or as small, as necessary.
"For example, in Washington DC, which is one of our largest customers, we have about 20 square miles of coverage," Pontious said. "Right down the street in Prince George's county, we only have about 3 square miles so far."
Baltimore officials are now working on a deal to bring the technology to charm city. Police commissioner Anthony Batts is already familiar with shot-spotter, as he worked with it back in Oakland.
Mayor Stephanie Rawling-Blake’s office tells FOX45; "The people of Baltimore expect that we take every possible action to increase public safety and moving smartly towards gunshot detection technology is one of many ways we are doing that."
In Baltimore, the program is slated to start out in the 3-6 square mile range. The cost to cover 6 miles could reach $300,000 but supporters say it’s well worth the investment in terms of stronger prosecution, especially in cities where witness intimidation has been a challenge.
The city has yet to get the funding approved for the program but the mayor's office is working on it.
The audio sensors, are not designed to pick up the sound of voices and company reps tell FOX45 they don't save conversations --- they're simply tripped by the sound of bullets.