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A look Inside the IRC: Planning for New Year’s Eve at ShotSpotter

As law enforcement agencies increase staffing during the holiday season, ShotSpotter is also ramping up to be able to provide the best service to our customers.  July 4th and New Year’s Eve are consistently the busiest days in the office for the Service Operations Center (SOC) at ShotSpotter.  As many people ring in the New Year with celebrations and parties, the SOC center is a busy center tracking and distinguishing between fireworks and gunfire.

At ShotSpotter, we define the New Year’s Eve period as 24 hours prior to and 48 hours after New Year’s Eve. This is definitely by far the busiest night of the year for illegal celebratory gunfire. 
In Q4 2015 there were 19,057 incidents in ShotSpotter coverage areas, and of those, 4,369 (or 22.9%) took place during the New Year’s Eve period.

How do we plan adequately for one of the busiest days of the year? The answer is we start the planning very early. Here are some of the ways we get ready:
• Holiday cross-functional planning meetings start in October/November to confirm that all procedures and preparedness tasks are fine-tuned and ready for an increased workload. 
• All personnel in the Service Operations Center, Customer Support and IT are assigned work schedules two months prior to New Year’s Eve with additional staff at the ready.
• ShotSpotter plans for round the clock incident analysts on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day to ensure that the increase in incidents will be reviewed accurately and timely.

While celebratory gunfire is an incredibly unfortunate occurrence on New Year’s Eve and other U.S. holidays, being able to notify law enforcement officers of gunshot incidents is our utmost priority.  With the ever present dangers of stray bullets, law enforcement officers using ShotSpotter technology can be notified of the number of rounds and location – typically before one minute of the shooting.  The information obtained during the New Year’s Eve holiday can show “hot spots” of gunfire activity where enforcement can be targeted to catch perpetrators in action.  Community engagement with the use of social media and other outlets are helpful to show the dangers of celebratory gunfire in addition to encouraging community members to report gunshots.

To learn some simple yet effective strategies for reducing illegal celebratory gunfire in your community watch our video:
http://www.shotspotter.com/system/content-uploads/Celebratory_Gunfire_Reduction_Strategies_2015_v2.mp4

Be sure to also check out our 5 Proven Tips for Reducing Celebratory Gunfire here:
http://www.shotspotter.com/system/content-uploads/SST-5-Proven-Tips-1215(1).pdf

Learn additional information on how you and your police department can start planning for a safer New Year’s Eve: http://www.shotspotter.com/celebratorygunfire

Questions can be directed to our Customer Support Team at support@shotspotter.com


December 16, 2016
By: Michelle Rippy, ShotSpotter Operations Team