ShotSpotter lauded as key police tool in tracking gunfire

The improvements and successes of the technology were a key topic during a news conference at police headquarters

By Harry Harris
San Jose Mercury News

OAKLAND, Calif. — At 2 p.m. May 19, two parolees stood outside a house in the 1700 block of 64th Avenue and fired several rounds from a shotgun and a semi-automatic pistol into the air, "just having fun," according to police.

Forty-five seconds after the illegal and dangerous gunshots, thanks to updated ShotSpotter technology, police responding to the call not only had the exact location where the shots were fired from, but audio of the gunfire and a computer map of the area. Both men were arrested and even though the pistol was not found, the shotgun was recovered hidden inside a false wall.

The improvements and successes of the ShotSpotter technology were a key topic Friday during a news conference at police headquarters. Police Chief Howard Jordan also commended crime fighting efforts of officers, including the recovery of more than 340 illegal guns so far this year and a recent 36 percent drop in robberies, and Mayor Jean Quan called for increased citizen involvement to get guns off the street and reduce violence.

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