The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Clark County Commissioners Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Lawrence Weekly announced today that they have implemented ShotSpotter gunfire detection and alert technology in the Northeast Las Vegas Valley as part of a pilot project to help fight urban gun crime.
A second pilot project will be launched in the coming weeks incorporating South-Central and Southeast area commands in the district of Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.
ShotSpotter is an acoustic detection technology that incorporates audio sensors to detect, locate and alert police agencies to the location of gunfire incidents in real time. In no more than 45 seconds from the actual gun discharge, the alert and the precise location of the event is delivered to police. The sensors capture the noise that may represent a gunshot, the data is filtered by machine algorithms, and confirmed by human acoustic experts at the ShotSpotter Incident Review Center in its headquarters. The filtered, triangulated information is then sent immediately to the police department.
This innovative technology allows officers to arrive at the scene of a crime faster and with an increased level of situational awareness, as they will know exactly where the gunfire is taking place. ShotSpotter is a tool that is used to enhance existing law enforcement staffing and improve response time and quality of response.
"This is going to transform how we fight crime and gun violence in our community beginning with Northeast Area Command," said Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who was the driving force behind bringing the technology to the valley. "I have high expectations for this technology and all it can do to help us reduce gun violence. We are going to track its use and effectiveness and I believe it will make a difference – not just in the Northeast, but across the urban County as its use is expanded. When appropriate, officers will canvass the area of a shooting and use door hangers to alert community members and provide them with a mechanism for submitting witness information."
Commissioner Weekly agreed: "Nationally, 80 percent of gun crimes go unreported and there were nine homicides last year in the Northeast area where this pilot project is being implemented. This project will help us turn the corner in fighting gun violence and help our officers serve our community."
Officials stressed that this new technology does not replace the 9-1-1 system and urged residents to continue providing reports of shots fired to 9-1-1 dispatch.
The pilot project is an outgrowth of Commissioner Kirkpatrick's Pathway from Poverty initiative for the Northeast valley, where she is pushing improvement in the areas of economic support, social support systems, health and well-being, early childhood education, post-secondary education and employment.
"The vision of the LVMPD is to be the safest community in America," said Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts. "To further that vision, the reduction of violent crime is the number one priority. ShotSpotter is one more step the LVMPD is taking to reduce violent crime in our community. In other cities that have adopted the ShotSpotter solutions, a significant reduction in the rate of gunfire and as a result, a reduction in violent crime and homicides has occurred." Such cities include New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Minneapolis, Sacramento and Fresno, Calif., among almost 100 communities throughout the nation.
The pilot project in the South-Central and Southeast Area Commands will be launched in the coming weeks. "This is a very exciting project that presents us with the very real prospect of reducing crime and gun violence – and potentially saving lives," said Commissioner Giunchigliani. "I'm thrilled that we can pilot this project in my district."
ShotSpotter is a leading public safety solution for gunfire detection, location and alerts on illegal gun crime. ShotSpotter real-time alerts notify local police departments of precisely when and where gun incidents occur so that officers can respond faster and more safely, recover evidence such as shell casings or guns, interview witnesses and ensure timely medical attention for any gunshot victims. The overall goal is to reduce gun violence and improve community safety.
Clark County and Metro are committed to the reduction of illegal gun use and combating gun violence. Our mission and commitment is to protect the quality of life in our communities by creating an environment of enhanced safety and security.
Locally during the trial period, the information will be monitored by Metro's Fusion Center, not 911 Dispatch. When alerts are made, the information will be broadcast over all Metro radio channels and acknowledged by dispatch. Metro officers will be able to monitor the information from their vehicle consoles and on their mobile phones using a ShotSpotter application.
ShotSpotter helps police departments transform policing practices to being more proactive by instantly notifying officers of gunshot crimes in progress with real-time data delivered to dispatch centers, patrol cars and even smartphones. First responders receive precise gunfire incident information, allowing informed decisions for faster emergency response while also improving situation intelligence and increasing first responder safety. ShotSpotter gunfire data also enables law enforcement agencies to improve evidence collection, prosecution and overall police effectiveness. ShotSpotter is installed in more than 90 communities across the United States and the world. More information may be found at www.ShotSpotter.com.
ShotSpotter is being launched locally in collaboration with The Friends of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation and Cooperative Extension.