[3/6/17] Are those lamps on your local streets detecting when guns are fired? American cities are being upgraded to pinpoint shooters and help police fight gun violence.
Like something out of the futuristic policing TV show “APB,” new tech can locate the exact position where a gun is fired and report it immediately to law enforcement.
Called ShotSpotter, this is a tool that can be used by officials to respond even faster to the aid of gun violence victims — minutes can be the difference between life and death. And it provides police with far more information in advance.
Before arriving on the scene, the tech tells police the exact location of the shooter or shooters, the type of weapon, and number of shots fired. This sort of data can help law enforcement respond more effectively and reduce the risk to the officers responding.
Militaries use a similar technology to defeat enemy snipers. In war zones, these systems pinpoint the location of a hidden sniper, using the sound of the gunshot.
The ShotSpotter tech uses a similar acoustic approach, but in a system designed to protect civilian neighborhoods. It can also be used to protect locations that can be attractive for terrorists to strike, like power plants and tourist sites such as New York’s Times Square.