Shotspotter Blog

Keeping New Year’s Eve Quiet in Your Community:

Five Tips to Prevent Illegal Celebratory Gunfire in Your City

Even though New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration, it’s also a very serious time when it comes to potential fatalities due to celebratory gunfire*.  The holidays are upon us – and now is a perfect time to prepare your local law enforcement teams and educate your community to ensure that everyone is prepared and ready to prevent unnecessary gunfire and injuries.
The best way to prevent celebratory gunfire is to get out to your community members, and to educate them further on the dangers of illegal gunfire. Although this may require additional focus and resources, you’ll benefit from a quieter New Year’s Eve if you take these important steps.

5 Tips to Engage Your Community to Prevent Gunfire on New Year’s Eve:

1. Analyze 2013 Gunfire in each Neighborhood:  Where did gunfire happen in 2013 on New Year’s Eve? Print this key information and get your law enforcement personnel together and make a plan to reach out to these key neighborhoods.

2. Contact Each Resident on Your 2013 List:    Get uniformed agency personnel to go to each address on the list and knock on these doors.  Make sure you contact the resident of each home on the list.

3. Educate Neighborhood Residents: When you talk to residents, explain that there was celebratory gunfire detected last year at the address and remind them of the dangers of celebratory gunfire.  If your agency has experienced one of the tragedies, consider the use of that event as an example.

4. Enforce a “No Tolerance” Policy in Community:  Be firm with your residents and describe the unfortunate criminal consequences of celebratory gunfire.  SST recommends a “no tolerance” policy on this activity and aggressive prosecution of the case.  Advise residents that the agency will be watching this year.  It is well understood that agencies do not actually have the manpower to watch every house on the list. It is our belief, as well as the agencies that have used this strategy, that just the thought that the agency might be watching them plays a large part in reducing the likelihood of the person engaging in the celebratory gunfire.

5. Engage Community Leaders, Share the Media Report: SST just sent out a press release to help describe the dangers of celebratory gunfire in communities and provide best practices. Make sure to connect with your community leaders and share this report with them, and let them know that you will be taking an active role in using ShotSpotter to catch and prosecute offenders.

To review the SST press release on celebratory gunfire click here.

For more information on how to take steps to reduce celebratory gunfire, review the blog post:
Anticipating Celebratory Gunfire, Steps to Reduce it Start Now.

Watch the webinar:

To review the webinar on how law enforcement agencies can prepare for, and reduce celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve, access the NYE Celebratory Gunfire Reduction Strategies webinar archive.

*Studies show that 14.6 percent of all gunfire incidents taking place on the holidays around New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July.

December 11, 2014
By: Ed Flosi, Sr. Director of Training & Customer Support