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AZ City is Latest City to Use Technology to Pinpoint Random Gunfire Location

June 30, 2002
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AZ City is Latest City to Use Technology to Pinpoint Random Gunfire Location

Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - Glendale will become the nation's third city to use technology that can immediately pinpoint the location of a gunshot.

The Spot Spotter system, which costs about $500,000, is a collection of acoustic sensors located throughout the city that use telephone lines to pick up gunshot booms within 25 to 40 feet.

Much like a 911 system, a telephone number and an address pops up on a monitor and police are dispatched.

The system is portable enough to be taken from one neighborhood to another.

Police are zeroing in on southern Glendale because of its high concentration of reported gunfire.

Last year, officers responded to 1,740 gunshot-related calls in that area.

Los Angeles County officials say the system has significantly reduced gunfire in south-central LA.

Shot Spotter censors also are used in Redwood City, Calif.

Meanwhile, Phoenix and other two surrounding cities also are taking steps to curb random gunfire on the July 4 holiday.

Goodyear and El Mirage plan to increase patrols to respond to shots-fired calls while Phoenix has a public education campaign that includes door hangers, mailers and radio and television spots.

A law that went into effect two years ago raised the penalty for shooting within Phoenix's city limits from a misdemeanor to a felony that carries up to five years and nine months in prison and $150,000 in fines.

City officials said it has reduced random gunfire and led to hundreds of arrests.

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