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ShotSpotter technology coming to UA

August 03, 2017
WBCR: University of Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

University of Alabama Campus Police will soon know whether someone fires a gun on or off campus immediately.

The Department spent $189,000 to buy ShotSpotter technology and use it as an extra layer of security.

"Sort of like the fire alarm concept, the fire alarm is there to, the job is to relay to the first responders this is a fire, this is where you need to go and the shot spotter is very similar in that way," UAPD Police Chief John Hooks said.

The system is already being employed by many police departments across the country, including Birmingham Police.

Now the University of Alabama will become the ninth school with a police department to use it too.

Hooks said his department is being proactive.

Sixty-nine small sensors have been placed on buildings on and near campus to hear gunfire and alert police.

"It has a certain acoustical signature. It analyzes that signature and relays that information to dispatch very rapidly and allows us to respond much faster," Hooks explained.

Police will fire 36 rounds into a bullet catcher at close range at two different locations on campus to test the system.

UAPD has planned a live test of test of shot spotter in Tuscaloosa on Monday around 5 o'clock.