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S.F. mayor looks to technology to halt soaring homicides

By Cecilia M. Vega
San Francisco Chronicle
PoliceOne Product Exclusive: Shots fired: ShotSpotter gunfire detection system provides leg up on 911

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — With the city's soaring homicide rate on pace to break records this year, San Francisco officials are hoping a high-tech tracking system that alerts police to gunfire within seconds of a shot going off will help their crime-fighting efforts.

Twenty cities around the country, including a handful in the Bay Area, are using the technology known as "ShotSpotter" in their most violence-prone neighborhoods. On Wednesday, Mayor Gavin Newsom said San Francisco also could benefit from installing the program, which uses sensors to detect gunfire and alerts police about it.

"Literally lives can be saved," Newsom said at a demonstration of the device his office arranged for reporters. "There's an imperative not to wait."

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