Shotspotter helps RPD respond to gunfire
on September 27, 2014
When gunfire breaks out in Richmond, police are often en route before a single distress call comes in.
In decades past police responded to gunfire after getting 9-1-1 calls or being close enough to hear the echo. But for the last five years, a sophisticated gunshot detection system has been the department’s ears on the street.
ShotSpotter, the gunfire detection and location system that alerts the RPD within seconds of picking up the distinct sounds, has helped improve response time to shootings and kept precise data of gunfire patterns. Years of high crime rates prompted a response by city officials eager to combat the problem, and so the ShotSpotter system was installed in early 2009.
The system works like this: Strategically dispersed microphones cover the city, listening for gunfire. The microphone array links to a computer system and review center manned by ShotSpotter employees. If the computer system recognizes the sounds of gunfire, it will use information from a minimum of two microphones to triangulate to within 10 yards of where the gunfire originated.
An acoustics expert then analyzes the sound and discerns whether it’s gunfire or something else, like backfire from a car or fireworks. Gunfire results in an alert immediately sent to police.
The system can also distinguish between different kinds of guns and alert police to the possibility of multiple shooters. All of this happens in less than a minute.
One of the first incidents when the system was used successfully came shortly after it started in 2009. Richmond Police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said the sound of a rifle was detected and pinpointed to a backyard in the city, and a suspect was placed in custody, all within minutes.
While police are adamant about the system’s usefulness in reducing crime, running high-tech audio surveillance and computer analysis of gunfire sounds around the clock does not come cheap.
According to a contract amendment obtained from the city’s online records, the period between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013 had an original payment limit of $406,965 for operation and maintenance. The amendment expanded the coverage for one year, until June 30, 2014, and changed the payment limit to $591,915, an increase of $184,950.
At a July meeting of the Finance, Administrative Services and Economic Development Standing Committee police filed a recommendation of approval for extending the maintenance and service period for one year, with a cost limit set to $184,950. This latest extension has not yet been approved, according to Abetkov, but the system is still operating.
The money for operating and servicing the system comes out of the police department’s general funds, according to Capt. Mark Gagan. In the past, a large part of the funding came from federal grants that were secured with the help of Congressman George Miller (D-Martinez), who brought in around $1 million.
The 2011 contract amendment also included an additional 2.75 square miles of new coverage, including Parchester Village, Fairmede, North & East, Shields Reid, and the Panhandle Annex. Areas not covered by the ShotSpotter system include the Richmond Annex, the Hilltop area and Point Richmond.
Abetkov said police hope to expand the system in the coming years.
When asked if the system has been a benefit to police, she was unequivocal.
“Absolutely, 100 percent,” Abetkov said. “It is too much of an asset to go anywhere.”
Another supporter of the ShotSpotter system is Richmond Police Commissioner Felix Hunziker, who supports the request to expand the contract. Hunziker said it has helped emergency responders reach gunshot victims faster and save their lives.
While Richmond police hail the effectiveness of the technology, gunfire detection systems have run into controversy elsewhere.
According to a 2013 Washington Post article about gunfire detection systems used in Washington D.C., the systems can sometimes miss gunfire due to the canyon-like topography of urban environments. Sounds can echo off several buildings before reaching a microphone and become too weak for it to register.
SST, the makers of ShotSpotter, guarantees a detection rate of 80 percent of audible, outdoor gunfire within coverage areas, but averages between 90 and 95 percent detection, according to the Washington Post article.
Although the police department intends to expand the system, the proposed contract extension has yet to be approved. The RPD’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, and their contract with ShotSpotter Inc. expired on June 30.
A double homicide on Bissell Avenue in the Iron Triangle last Saturday was the most recent high-profile incident where the ShotSpotter system was used. Although both victims died, police responded within minutes.
Hunziker emphasized the importance of the police’s ability to respond quickly.
“It’s my opinion the ShotSpotter system is an invaluable tool for our police department that helps them respond to the precise location where shots have been fired in the shortest possible time.”
Richmond Confidential welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Richmond Confidential assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.
Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.
Please send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First off I would like to say excellent blog! I had
a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind
before writing. I have had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted
just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?
If it means moving a device like a Blu-ray player closer for the HDTV, do that.
First, make sure you have an antenna that is sufficiently powerful to pick up digital television signals.
Hdtv antenna direction There are a variety of benefits
of installing TV antennas for free hd television channels.
There are outdoor smart antennas in addition to indoor smart antennas.
If the wires are equally strong on all sides, the antenna will stand up straight.
Hdtv antenna to hdmi The antenna is designed in a way that it catches a pair of frequency inside the several parts
from the country. Indoor/outdoor hdtv antenna da-600 When we set our antennae toward our speakers and extremely pay
attention on the nonverbal cues, we’ll have fewer communication mishaps.
Why accept poor reception when you may get crystal clear free Hdtv reception with just somewhat tweaking of one’s antenna.
Small multi directional hdtv antenna Find out perhaps the manufacturer offers
an in-home testing with the HDTV.
If where you reside prohibits you installing a backyard antenna there are still viable alternatives available.
The location and positioning were required to be adjusted in a number of ways so that antennas must not face any kind of disturbance while catching the signal.
Outdoor hdtv antenna with rotor Your wife won’t feel she
has to open a jar or climb around the roof to adjust an antenna.
Besides, the antenna achieves an incredible performance, especially to the SINCGARS applications with the low end
part in the radio band. If they expend their antenna the only question is how to extend in a very
proper coordinate back. Most powerful outdoor hdtv antenna Here’s a peek
at some in the best outdoor HDTV antennas currently about the market.
CCTV systems can be useful in other legal matters
like slip and fall or compensation for injuries lawsuits.
CCTV security products that offers good potential
for service providers in this segment. Cctv dvr kit wireless
Another way of getting a multi-room DVR is to get your old DVR upgraded for the newest one and save money.
So right after the video clip is captured you are able to go to the DVR and watch not simply
dwell movie but additionally movie that was recorded in the previous.
CCTV camera plays a fantastic role in identifying criminal activities.
dee zee bed rail caps
A company spokesperson also said that this new version may
also work for the new Google Chromebooks that were just released last month.
That means there are many of smartphone’s out there which are
capable of Skype over Wi-Fi calls but a majority of people won’t be able to obtain the program that
they need to get the job done.
About: The Nabaztag rabbit will inform you the news, remind you
of the appointments, announce the arrival of an e-mail,
and even read out your blog posts and comments for you personally.
If you actually wish on your Wi – Fi reflector to get colorful, you’ll be able to print
it on colored paper. Apple wifi extender reviews
The employees know enough to chat customers through setting up the Wi
– Fi connection.
Overall, LED grow lights are without a doubt the way of the future.
The low temperature of the plant lights also brings about
an almost zero possibility of root damage which regularly occurs otherwise under conventional hot grow lights.
Broad spectrum led grow lights review HPS bulbs, short for
High Pressure Sodium bulbs, are grow lights which can be used in numerous domestic gardening environments indoors.
Some have large retirement accounts that are actually growing since their early
20s. I jumped out in the car, grabbed my iphone and snapped a picture – half the lights in the Large Logo
Sign on top from the GE Headquarters were burned out.
Therefore, colored lenses also spread the lighting consistently on all sides,
but in a very colored light. Cooler light is most obvious in the
summertime calendar months once the sun is higher inside the skyline.
Led grow lights ebay canada When my son David was four to
five, he loved gleaming lights like the Lite-Brite toy we
had given him for Christmas.
People are taking it to all new levels and take the basic knowledge that
individuals”. LEDs aren’t getting heated up easily and because from
the low currents, extremely little energy is lost as heat.
A buyer contains the option to get a 50″ version from the same model, which can also be an entry-level model. Several sacrifices were produced: You is not going to obtain the multimedia streaming functions another gamers about this cost range supply, for instance.. Radio shack A buyer contains the option to get a 50″ version from the same model, which
can also be an entry-level model. Several sacrifices were produced:
You is not going to obtain the multimedia streaming functions another gamers about this
cost range supply, for instance..