Shotspotter Blog

Using Predictive Intelligence in Public Safety

Each morning I read the weather report, if there is a chance of rain I throw an umbrella in my bag. Sometimes it rains as predicted and sometimes it doesn’t, but in any event I rarely get wet. Weather forecasting is a form of predictive intelligence that in severe circumstances such as tornados and hurricanes can mean the difference between life and death.

In January of 2015, SST Inc. will make a significant investment in furtherance of public safety through the addition of a Senior Director of Predictive Intelligence as part of the ShotSpotter team. Clearly, the capability of predicting where the next shooting will occur — and stopping it — is the gold standard of any gun violence prevention initiative. With historical gunshot detection data, exploited by experts, future shootings can be anticipated, strategies developed and perfected, and crimes prevented often without a single arrest.

Also next quarter, SST Inc. will publish for the first time data comparing year-to-year gunfire rates in cities powered by ShotSpotter intelligence. The declines in illegal shootings across the nation will bring pause to cities that rely entirely on 911 calls from the public. When citizens seek the help of police less than 20 percent of the time when shots are fired, the result is a reactionary police force relegated to solving violent crimes after the fact.

For decades, men and women in law enforcement have been trained to respond, to run towards danger. At ShotSpotter we believe that our intelligence can help departments predict where their officers need to be, so when danger starts to unfold they are already there.

Yesterday, I watched my colleagues get drenched as I walked under my umbrella. It made me remember how difficult it is for organizations to change and how hard it is for those trained to be self-reliant to seek help from others. In matters of life and death, such as responding to gunfire, it’s time for change and ShotSpotter is here to help.

Have a safe holiday season and tune in next year to hear how agencies are using predictive intelligence to shield communities from gun violence.

December 23, 2014
By: David Chipman, Sr. VP, Public Safety