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ShotSpotter Technology That Hears Gunshots Focus of Bronzeville Meeting

By Tanveer Ali | May 4, 2017 5:47am | Updated on May 5, 2017 11:33am
 This image shows how ShotSpotter works.
This image shows how ShotSpotter works.
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ShotSpotter (file)

CHICAGO — Bronzeville residents interested in learning about the gunshot-detection technology known as ShotSpotter have a chance to learn more about it at a community forum.

The sound-based technology electronically listens for gunshots, giving officers a 5-minute lead on responding to violence than typical 911 calls, Chicago Police said.

A representative of the company is expected to address the Bronzeville event scheduled for 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Pisgah Church, 4600 S. King Drive.

"My goal is to invite ShotSpotter to the neighborhood and let people know what the product does," said Mell Monroe, owner of Welcome Inn Manor, a bed and breakfast in Bronzeville.

The event does not involve the Chicago Police Department or other government entities, said Monroe, who said he's been interested in the technology for years long before Chicago's recent implementation of it. 

In March, the police department said Englewood has seen a 60 percent drop in shootings this year, partially because of the technology.

There have been no city announcements about using ShotSpotter in Bronzeville.

According to the ShotSpotter firm, the system "uses acoustic sensors that are strategically placed in an array of 15-20 sensors per square mile in order to reliably detect and accurately triangulate gunshot activity."

Each sensor, the company said, "captures the precise time, location, and audio snippet associated with boom and bang sounds that may represent a gunshot." The system then alerts 911.