SST, Inc. is the global leader in gunfire detection and location technology providing the most trusted, scalable and reliable gunfire alert and analysis available today.
SST's deep domain experience, along with cumulative agency best practice experience, deliver measurable outcomes that help reduce gun violence. Privately held, SST possesses multiple patents resulting from nearly two decades of innovation in the area of acoustic location technology.
Headquarters Newark, Calif., USA
Ownership Privately Held
Global installations in
& South America
square miles monitored in
the U.S. alone
- SST Publishes 2014 National Gunfire Index that compares year-on-year data, showing that gunfire incidents are down by 28% in ShotSpotter cities.
- SST releases the National Gunfire Index; sheds light on the shocking but true nature and volume of illegal gun activity in America.
- SST Co-Founder Dr. Robert Showen is honored as Inventor of the Year by the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association
- Worcester, MA has the distinction of being the 50th customer using the new ShotSpotter Flex service offering.
- SST ShotSpotter coverage area in U.S. grows by 20% when Boston, Miami, Milwaukee, Wilmington (DE) and Puerto Rico sign on for ShotSpotter Flex.
- SST opens East Coast data center.
- SST launches the first-ever U.S. National Gunfire Index, the most detailed and comprehensive record available of illegal gunfire activity in cities across the U.S. during Q2 and Q3, 2013.
- SST announces ShotSpotter Briefing Room™, the industry’s first end-to-end gunfire crime analysis platform to combine the proven accuracy of ShotSpotter gunfire data with sophisticated crime analytics, data visualization, and geospatial summaries suitable for COMPSTAT-style reporting.
- ShotSpotter granted its 32nd US Patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
- ShotSpotter Flex gains rapid adoption by law enforcement agencies - large to small - nationwide as a critical component of comprehensive gun violence reduction initiatives.
- ShotSpotter granted its 26th US Patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
- SST relocates its corporate headquarters to Newark, California.
- ShotSpotter, Inc. started operating under the dba name SST, Inc. in 2011
- SST launches ShotSpotter Flex, an affordable annual subscription service that is hosted, cloud-based solution. US Patent and Trademark Office issues ShotSpotter it's 25th US Patent.
- Ralph A. Clark named CEO.
- International business grows. Systems sold in Brazil and the United Kingdom.
- Listed as part of the AlwaysOn Global 250, a list of the hottest privately owned companies in technology.
- Presented Frost & Sullivan North America Product Innovation Award.
- Business grows in Midwest and Northeast United States. Systems deployed include Boston, Mass., and Bellwood, Ill.
- ShotSpotter GLS deployed in the U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. (Still operational today).
- First VC funding obtained from Lauder Partners LLC.
- USPTO issues third ShotSpotter patent (#5,973,998).
- First pilot system deployment in Redwood City, Calif. (Still operational today).
- USPTO issues second ShotSpotter patent (#5,703,835).
- USPTO issues first ShotSpotter patent (#5,504,717).
- ShotSpotter conceived of by Dr. Robert Showen.
FAQ - Download the PDF here
- ShotSpotter is gunshot detection, acoustic surveillance technology that uses sophisticated sensors to detect, locate and alert law enforcement agencies of illegal gunfire incidents in real time. The technology detects gunfire when a gun is discharged, protects officers with increased tactical awareness, and connects law enforcement agencies to the community and to their mission of protect and serve. The real-time digital alerts include a precise location on a map (latitude/longitude) with corresponding meta data such as the address, number of rounds fired, type of gunfire, etc. delivered to any browser-enabled device or mobile device.
- ShotSpotter is used in approximately 90 cities worldwide. It is highly regarded by law enforcement agencies as a critical component of their gun violence reduction strategy. ShotSpotter deployments include a diverse set of cities by size, geography and socioeconomic standards. Police departments are the typical core user of ShotSpotter, and the data has been shown to be valuable to prosecutors in court cases and city leadership for smart city initiatives.
- ShotSpotter uses acoustic sensors that are strategically placed in an array of 15-20 sensors per square mile in order to reliably detect and accurately triangulate gunshot activity. Each sensor captures the precise time, location, and audio snippet associated with boom and bang sounds (impulsive noise) that may represent a gunshot. This data is first filtered by sophisticated machine algorithms that are then further qualified by an expertly trained and staffed 24x7 Incident Review Center at ShotSpotter to insure the events are in fact gunfire. In addition, they can append the alert with any other critical intelligence such as whether a full automatic weapon was fired. This process takes less than 45 seconds between the actual shooting and the digital alert (with a precise location dot on a map) popping onto the screen of a computer in the 9-1-1 Call Center.
ShotSpotter helps protect officers by instantly notifying them of gunshot crimes in progress with real-time data delivered to dispatch centers, patrol cars and even smartphones. This enhances officer safety and effectiveness with critical intelligence such as: real-time access to maps of shooting locations and gunshot audio, actionable intelligence detailing the number of shooters and the number of shots fired, accurate and precise locations for those first responders aiding victims, searching for evidence and interviewing witnesses.
With ShotSpotter, officers can arrive at the scene of a crime faster and with an increased level of safety because they know exactly where the gunfire is taking place. In many cases, an officer can arrive with the shooter still live on the crime scene or if the criminal has fled, shell casings can be recovered and used for investigative and potential prosecution purposes.
- This investment in technology should not be considered an either/or decision. The fact is police departments need both manpower and technology. ShotSpotter is a tool that augments and enhances the existing manpower to improve response time and quality of response. This technology is capable of doing something that no amount of manpower can accomplish, which is to comprehensively report in real-time all outdoor illegal gunfire.
There has never been a single city where ShotSpotter did not technically work i.e. - detecting, locating and alerting on illegal gunfire. There have been very few isolated instances where agencies were not able to drive positive operational outcomes, or where they could not afford to pay their ongoing annual ShotSpotter maintenance contracts. In the case of the former, the deployment strategies were suboptimal since they were too small and could not effectively drive the procedural change management necessary to have impact. ShotSpotter (or any technology for that matter) is not a panacea and requires effective use to make a difference.
SST has gained valuable experience having deployed in more faq-more than 90 agencies in the U.S., and proven best practices show that integrating ShotSpotter into an overall gunfire reduction strategy with existing policing programs works. We also know that cities that do not implement standard best practices do not have the highest success rate. Cities that follow best practices experience a positive outcome in their gunfire reduction strategies and have measureable year-over-year reduction in gunfire.
The very few cities that did not have a positive experience had poor practices around the following:
- Not responding to gunfire alerts when they come into the PD from the ShotSpotter alert and not responding to the location on the map “dot on map”
- Not including ShotSpotter data as part of an overall gunfire intelligence and crime reduction program
- Lack of community engagement – Educating residents on the benefits of improved police response and how they can help empower community members to feel safe in their own neighborhoods
ShotSpotter customers who have expanded their service after initial deployment of ShotSpotter include the following U.S. cities:
- Oakland CA – twice
- San Francisco CA – 3 times
- Richmond CA
- Redwood City CA
- Milwaukee WI – twice
- Minneapolis M
- Omaha N
- St. Louis MO
- Peoria IL
- Jefferson Parish LA
- Birmingham AL
- Wilmington NC
- Washington DC
- Camden NJ
- Trenton NJ
- Paterson NJ
- Springfield MA
- Boston MA
Recently expanded cities include: Camden, NJ; New Haven, CT; Peoria, IL and South Bend, IN; Long Island (Suffolk County), NY; Minneapolis, MN and Oakland, CA; San Francisco, CA; Trenton, NJ.
- Saving lives and improving the quality of life in neighborhoods across the country, while improving officer safety, is mission critical. We believe that we will be able to measurably reduce gun violence and improve public safety, and in the process enhance the resiliency of the communities we serve. In the long term, the positive impact of improved public safety is reflected in better social and economic outcomes. So in short - yes this is very much worth the money.
- No. ShotSpotter uses acoustic sensors designed to detect, locate and alert on gunfire – not record conversations. The acoustic sensors are located on top of buildings, rooftops and poles, roughly 30’ or more faq-more above street level. The sensors are designed to trigger (or activate) on very loud noises, such as when a gun is fired. The sensors are designed to record seconds of the gunfire. For more faq-more information please check out the ACLU’s review of ShotSpotter here: https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-future/shotspotter-ceo-answers-questions- gunshot-detectors-cities
The communities most affected by gunfire are least likely to call it in. With fewer than 1 in 5 shooting incidents reported to 9-1-1, gun crime is vastly underreported. When 9-1-1 calls are made, unfortunately the location information provided is typically inaccurate. Without knowing exactly where to respond, police waste valuable time and resources driving block by block looking for evidence as criminals escape the scene. Dispatching officers to an active shooting without all available intelligence is a threat to officer safety and needlessly places the public at risk.
Without ShotSpotter, a city may be missing many gunshot incidents and as a result, may not have the opportunity to respond to save victims and apprehend shooters in the act.
ShotSpotter is in 90 cities worldwide. In our sample of 46 cities where ShotSpotter was deployed year-over-year, the median reduction in gunfire rates in 2015 was 12.8%. (Source: SST National Gunfire Index 2015). More faq-more than one-half of the cities experienced a reduction of more faq-more than 21.20%,
- New York City: Since deploying ShotSpotter in March 2015, ShotSpotter provided 1,672 alerts on where guns went off, 74% of which, weren't reported by 911. Cops said ShotSpotter helped recover 32 firearms, including 13 on cases with no 911 call, and has led to 21 arrests. Eight of those arrests had no 911 call. Source: NY Daily News, Jan. 20, 2016.
- Wilmington DE: saw a 42% drop in gunshots after technology was initially installed
- Miami Gardens, FL: Had an 80% decrease in New Year’s Eve celebratory gunfire when comparing 2014/2015 over 2013/2014, where they went from 129 shots to 26, according to SST’s 2015 National Gunfire Index.
- Denver: Since the technology was installed in January 2015 through December 2015, they have had 425 gunshot alerts, with 1,472 rounds fired. ShotSpotter is directly tied to 29 arrests and captured 16 guns, according to Capt. Steven Carter who manages ShotSpotter in Denver.
- Kruger National Park, SA: With a very small proof of concept deployment, ShotSpotter detected two poaching events that led to the capture and prosecution of several poachers as well as the recovery of a baby rhino (named Dot) whose mother rhino was poached.
- No. ShotSpotter is an acoustic based system. The sensors do not have any optical capability and cannot produce images of any kind. However, ShotSpotter can integrate with video systems by sending an alert to a video management system, which can then separately pan, tilt and zoom an IP addressable camera in the appropriate area.
- There are many cases in cities where ShotSpotter has been deployed where the ShotSpotter alert has led to the arrest of the criminal. More faq-more often than not critical forensic evidence such as casings retrieved from the scene resulted in key investigative data, which led to the introduction or arrest of a shooter. Local DA agencies also rely on ShotSpotter to prosecute some of the toughest criminals in our country. Currently, federal homicide prosecutors are using ShotSpotter analysis and evidence to determine if a gunshot has, or has not occurred, the location of the gunshot, and the precise location of the shooting. SST has been admissible in court cases in 17 states as well as in federal court. But keep in mind our primary goal is to prevent shooting incidents, which means that deterring the potential trigger puller is more faq-more valuable than capturing the trigger puller.
13. Do you have any supporting data to show that your technology helps to reduce gunfire in the areas that you have coverage?
Today, ShotSpotter is highly regarded as a critical component of any comprehensive gun violence preparation and reduction strategy and is playing an active part in making communities safer for future generations. SST technology is helping communities and law enforcement agencies work together to prevent gun violence at a global level.
The SST National Gunfire Index report data shows that law enforcement agencies and cities that have adopted SST solutions and best practices have experienced reductions in gunfire of up to 80% and reductions in related violent crime and homicides of as much as 40%. The company is becoming a recognized thought leader with the annual published National Gunfire Index Report (see 2015 National Gunfire Index - http://www.shotspotter.com/2015NGI), which details a comprehensive analysis and overview of unknown instances of gun violence. In addition, law enforcement agencies and the media have recently looked to SST for best practices on reducing celebratory gunfire.
- Local DA agencies rely on ShotSpotter to prosecute some of the toughest criminals in our country. Currently, federal homicide prosecutors are using ShotSpotter analysis and evidence to determine if a gunshot has or has not occurred, the location of the gunshot, and the precise location of the shooting. SST has been admissible in court cases in 7 states as well as in federal court. ShotSpotter technology has withstood challenges under Kelly-Frye and Daubert. Analysts from SST frequently testify as expert witnesses and the company also provides detailed forensic reports for trial cases upon request.
- Cities where ShotSpotter is deployed would be the subscribers to data, and as such have unrestricted use of it internally, including integration with other reporting systems and video management systems, etc., (that is where the value is derived). SST would only limit the export of detailed electronic data to outside entities that would create derivative works with it, e.g., an outside research institution or another agency for example.
Ralph A. ClarkPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Paul AmesSenior Vice President, Products and Technology
Joe HawkinsSenior Vice President, Operations
Damaune JourneyVice President, Security Solutions
Douglas A. McFarlinVice President,
David P. RodgersVice President, Operational Engineering
Sonya L. StricklerVice President, Finance & Controller
Dr. Robert Calhoun
Dr. Robert Calhoun
Dr. Robert Calhoun is a founder, principal engineer and software scientist at SST/ShotSpotter, Inc. He has programmed in C, Visual Basic, and LabVIEW. He has written versions of the ShotSpotter detector and map displays, and designed sensitive detection, classification, and filtering routines to give the ShotSpotter its most impressive performance to date.
Rob has earned his undergraduate degree, his masters, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT.
Dr. Robert L. Showen
Dr. Robert L. Showen
Ph.D, Founder & Chief Scientist
Dr. Showen is SST, Inc.’s founder and patent holder on the technology. With over three decades of acoustic and geophysics research experience, it was Dr. Showen’s initial vision of helping police curb gunfire and urban crime that caused him first to conceive of ShotSpotter.
Engineer, scientist, and teacher, Dr. Robert L. Showen attended San Jose State University, University of California at Berkeley, and Rice University. He obtained degrees in electrical engineering and space physics and won a fellowship to the Max Planck Institute. He has taught astronomy and physics at the University of Puerto Rico, performed experiments to heat the ionosphere at the world’s largest RADAR, participated in the development of over-the-horizon RADAR at SRI International, and studied the effects of lightning on the ionosphere.
Jason Dunham is an engineer, a software specialist and a co-founder of SST/ShotSpotter. Jason’s specialty work is in vibration analysis as applied to components of nuclear plants. He has programmed in C, Pascal, FORTRAN, FORTH, Mathematica, and LabVIEW. He is the owner and founder of San Francisco Industrial Software Inc. which has an extensive local and statewide clientele. He has written a majority of the software used in the Trilon Technology gunshot location system, and is a co-inventor with Dr. Showen on patent applications for ShotSpotter technology.
Jason earned his BS, Mechanical Engineering from MIT and his MS in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.
Ralph A. Clark
Ralph A. Clark
Chief Executive Officer
A veteran of numerous successful technology start-ups, Ralph A. Clark brings 30 years of extensive corporate, financial and organizational leadership to his position as SST, Inc.’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Most recently, Clark was CEO of GuardianEdge Technologies Inc., where he led the transformation of the company into a leader in endpoint data protection and was instrumental in its recent acquisition by Symantec.
Prior to GuardianEdge, Clark served as vice president of finance for Adaptec through its acquisition of Snap Appliance, which he helped engineer. He was responsible for worldwide financial planning and analysis of Snap Appliance, serving as its chief financial office. Previous to his role at Snap Appliance, he worked at several venture capital backed start-up companies, leading several to successful acquisitions. Early in his career, Clark held executive sales and marketing roles at IBM; post business school he was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, where he was instrumental in many successful technology transactions.
He is a member of the board of directors for PrintRoom and Tactical Survey Group, and also serves as a trustee at the Oakland Museum of California. Clark holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of the Pacific, and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
Tom is a partner at City Light Capital. He is a member of the Boards of ShotSpotter Technology (Newark, CA) and Heartland Steel Products (Marysville, MI). After 26 years of growing and leading two Michigan companies in the safety and security area, Tom is now the Chairman of the Board of Minimax-Viking, a major fire protection systems company based in Hamburg, Germany. He also is the principal of his family office, Tyden Ventures, and is dedicated to spreading the concept of impact investing among private investors.
Service activities include the Deming Center for Productivity at Columbia Business School, the Cornell University Council, and cofounder of The ImPact Society, a non-profit dedicated to promotion of impact investing among private investors. He was a board member of the National Fire Protection Association and has served in various leadership positions in Michigan, including the Salvation Army of West Michigan, public K-12 school boards, and the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy.
He is married to his wife of 32 years, Lisa, and they have two children in their twenties. Tom grew up in Hastings, MI and is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia Business School.
Randy focuses on security solutions for both the digital and physical domains at Claremont Creek Ventures (CCV). His years as Executive Vice President/COO and Director at Identix are the foundation of his interest in this area of investment. Randy’s strong background in IT includes serving as CEO and Director of Captiva Software, various senior management positions at Texas Instruments, ITT Information Systems and Sr. VP at AT&T Paradyne. He has also held directorships at Clairvoyant Software, Hipbone Software, Inapac, Invivodata, Flytecomm, View Central and Be Here. Currently Randy holds a board seat at three of CCV's portfolio companies.
Randy earned a BSEE from University of Arkansas and has completed the Stanford University Executive Management Program. He serves as the Venture Committee Chair for Keiretsu Forum.
Gary Lauder is the Managing Director of Lauder Partners LLC, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm investing primarily in information technologies. He has been a venture capitalist since 1985, investing in over 80 private companies. He is also Chairman of ActiveVideo Networks. Other directorships: OnLive, net2tv, Promptu, MediaFriends and ShotSpotter. Investments are primarily in television/IPTV technology and WWW arenas. In the 1980's, he worked at the venture firms of Aetna, Jacobs & Ramo Technology Ventures, as well as Wolfensohn Associates. He holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania; a BS in Economics from the Wharton School; and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is the co-creator of the Aspen Institute's Socrates Society with Laura, his wife. He is a member of the inaugural class of the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship Program. He has had a working cable modem (usually) in his home since 1994. He is co-inventor of 12 patents, has spoken at over 100 industry forums, and, since 1992, has published several articles about the future of the cable industry...that he still stands by.
Marc H. Morial
Marc has more than 25 years (of) experience as an entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, legislator, Mayor, President of the US Conference of Mayors, and now CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest civil rights organization. Among his many accolades, Morial was widely credited with the 1990s renaissance of New Orleans. While Mayor of New Orleans, he had strong success attacking the city’s vast urban problems, including dropping violent crimes and murders by 60%. He left the office with a 70% approval rating.
Morial has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a Juris Doctor degree in from Georgetown University. A history, arts, music and sports enthusiast, Morial has an adult daughter, and is married to CBS broadcast journalist Michelle Miller. Together they have two children.
Pascal is the founder and Managing Partner of Levensohn Venture Partners (LVP) and the CEO of Generation Strategic Advisors LLC (GSA); he has held both positions since 1996. Pascal joined Dolby Family Ventures, L.P. as a Managing Director in 2014 after advising the Dolby family on its direct technology investment portfolio since 2012. Pascal has transitioned his new technology venture capital investing activities to the Dolby family organization.
Pascal was elected to the board of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) from April 2007-April 2011, during which he chaired the NVCA’s education committee for three years; he is a faculty member of the Kauffman Fellows Program Center for Venture Education (2006-present) where he teaches best practices for VC-backed company board members.
Pascal holds an AB in Government, cum laude, from Harvard University. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former co-chairman of the Socrates Society Forum of the Aspen Institute (2007-2009), and a former Chairman of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation’s Business Leadership Council (2007-2008).
GE Lighting and ShotSpotter just signed a memorandum of understanding to bring gunshot detection to light fixtures as an option in GE's suite of intelligent LED technology for cities.
SST, Inc. is an official IACLEA Corporate Partner
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GE Lighting and ShotSpotter just signed a memorandum of understanding to bring gunshot detection to light fixtures as an option in GE's suite of intelligent LED technology for cities..
The acoustic sensors and software would give street lamps the ability to detect gunfire in real time, connect to 911, alert police patrol cars, and ping smartphones with the precise location of the shooting incident, the number of shooters and rounds fired and other valuable intelligence. - See more at: http://www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/na/intelligent-environments/intelligent-cities/index.jsp#sthash.vuGpVaDo.dpuf
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Verizon. Providers of wireless network that supports acoustic sensors in ShotSpotter-deployed communities, over which data is sent back to SST’s Real Time Incident Review Center (IRC). Visit site
VidSys. Combining ShotSpotter’s Gunshot Location Technology with VidSys’ PSIM Software Enables Faster Response, real time situation management, to better protect and save lives. Visit site
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