ENGLEWOOD — Getting to crime scenes more quickly and make more gun arrests will be easier thanks to new technology being rolled out by the Chicago Police Department, officials said.
Supt. Eddie Johnson and Deputy Chief Jonathan Lewin discussed how it would work and what this will mean for the city at a presentation held at the Englewood Police District headquarters at 1438 W. 63rd St. Wednesday.
Deputy Chief Jonathan Lewin shows reporters what ShotSpotter looks like. [DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson]
“ShotSpotter” is a new real-time GPS-equipped system that will pick up sounds of gunshots that were fired. Acoustic devices will be placed in Englewood and Harrison districts. They are accurate within 25 yards, officials said.
The new system costs $1 million, said Lewin, who works for the Bureau of Support Services.
“Police work is usually reactionary,” Johnson said. But the technology will allow officers in the field to self-deploy once gunshots are heard.
Police officers will be able to look at this map on a smartphone and in-car computer to determine where a gunshot was fired. [DNAinfo/ Andrea V. Watson]
“Before, someone would hear gunshots, wait five minutes, then report the call,” he said. “They would give us the area where the think the shots came from. This pinpoints where this shots came from and we can respond quicker.”
Police officers in the Englewood and Harrison districts will be able to look at this map on their new smartphone and in-car computer to determine where a gunshot was fired. [DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson]
“ShotSpotter” means officers don’t have to wait for a call to come in to 911 before responding. This will allow them to respond with “accuracy and be quicker,” eliminating the five- to seven-minute lag time, Johnson said.
Officers in those two pilot districts are getting smart phones and in-car computers. So far 20 smartphones are in use by officers, Lewin said, but a total of 150 will be put in use this year.
“Our arrests were, overall, down last year, but gun arrests were overall up at 9 percent,” Johnson said about 2016.
The officers also are able to watch video in real-time. All of the data collected will be used to to analyze ways to reduce crime, Johnson said.