Shotspotter Blog

News from Panama! SST Protecting Dignitaries & Critical Infrastructure at 7th Summit of the Americas

The Seventh Summit of the Americas will be held on April 11th and 12th in Panama City.  This year´s theme is “Prosperity with Equity:  The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas”.

We all know the sad truth that both economic prosperity and societal equity are nearly impossible in cities plagued by illegal gunfire and other violent, often rampant, criminal activity. Fortunately, SST has made significant technological advances with ShotSpotter Flex which provide law enforcement and ministries of security in these nations just the kind of practical tools they need to deal with such activities.

Thirty-three delegations of Heads of State and Government from across the Americas are expected to attend the event, including President Barack Obama, Cuban President Raul Castro and a representative from the Vatican.  The Summit will be a platform where, while respecting differences of opinion, the Heads of State will be able to freely debate on common, but urgent, issues such as equity, cooperation, poverty, regional security, commercial & trade issues, common threats to the Hemisphere and democratic governance to name a few. The goal will be to come to terms on how these shared issues can be defined and differences resolved with effective, efficient, measurable and sustainable policies to endure for decades to come. The event will be historic as it will be the first time that the Presidents of both nations will have met together specifically to discuss normalizing the rift that has lasted 54 years between the two countries.

Security is one of the greatest concerns of the citizens of Latin America since the drug trade and extortion drives a very high percentage of the violent crime in the region. In this case, that concern for security extends to the protection of the attending dignitaries and even the buildings and critical infrastructure in and around the Summit.  This first of its kind complete security package – integrated with video as well –  is designed to allow for precise and rapid response in the unlikely event a gun is fired anywhere within our acoustic dome of protection.

The Panama National Police under the leadership of Director General Omar Pinzón have rapidly deployed ShotSpotter, the first of its kind gunshot detection system, in the area of the venue to deter gun violence during the Summit as part of an overall security package which when combined with a cutting edge video monitoring system provides the most comprehensive security use case available. This rapid and flexible security solution named ShotSpotter SiteSecure, when combined with a state of the art video surveillance system, continues to set the bar by which other security solutions are measured when critical infrastructure and people are at risk. In the unlikely event a gun is fired anywhere within the ShotSpotter SiteSecure dome of protection here around the Summit, Police and Security personnel can quickly respond with situational awareness.

ShotSpotter has been mentioned in the news here this month as part of the overall security package being deployed to protect the dignitaries and the 15,000 to 20,000 thousand attendees visiting the Atlapa Convention Center during the Summit. ShotSpotter is also being considered for use by several governments in the region:  it gives local police the edge they need to fight violent crime activities in under-served areas of the region and globally.

In Panama, the Policia Nacional have been using ShotSpotter for three years now in what is clearly one of the roughest neighborhoods, San Miguelito. With more than 650,000 inhabitants, San Miguelito is affected by waves of criminal activity, like any large city.  Local police are committed to using all the assistance they can get to fight crime, and ShotSpotter is a key part of their overall program.

April 08, 2015
By: Tom Zinn, Latin America Sales