The Grand Signal

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A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

DC police use ShotSpotter to analyze sound waves and detect gunshots in real time

November 6, 2013 | Written by The Grand Signal
Photo courtesy of grendelkhan

ShotSpotter, a big data API that uses sound waves to detect gun shots in real time, has moved on from a hacker’s pet project to an institutionalized tool of the trade for DC’s finest. The Washington Post recently reported that DC police have slowly yet surely implemented the tool into day-to-day operations, to the point where it has become a keystone in the institutions operations.

According to The Post, the tool has detected about 39,000 gunshots in Washington, DC over the last eight years.

The District is currently being served by over 300 acoustic (sound) sensors across over 20 square miles of the city’s most prominent crime district. The sensors deliver data instantaneously to alert beat officers near the area. Interestingly, the gunfire data logged by ShotSpotter have more than doubled the number of felony gun crimes being reported in DC. That number continues to increase as more sensors are developed.

via The Verge

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