Did You Know that Over 80% of Shootings Go Unreported?
On average less than 12% of shootings are reported to 911. As a result, eight out of ten times when someone fires a gun in your neighborhood, the police never show up, simply because they don’t know about it.
When gun crime isn’t reported, perpetrators grow emboldened, putting everyone else in the community at risk. Unaddressed gunfire drives homicides and injuries, but there are other costs to the community as well:
Victims don’t get treated fast enough
Residents feel unsafe at home
Community jobs are lost
The cycle of gun violence continues
*Source: The Effect of Gun Violence on Local Economies, Urban Institute, November 2016.
Communities Count on ShotSpotter
Gerard is a Community Impact and Engagement Director at ShotSpotter, where he ensures that community stakeholders’ input is integrated into ShotSpotter policies, procedures, and product development. As a Licensed Master Social Worker, he has used his knowledge of the root causes of crime, human behavior, and social policy to advise organizations in creating, implementing, and evaluating violence prevention programs.
Gerard is an adjunct professor at Howard University in the graduate School of Social Work. He holds a B.S. in criminology from Webster University, an MSW with a concentration in social and economic development from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Doctor of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California.
“ShotSpotter has provided me the opportunity to bring a social worker lens into a leading public safety technology company. In my role, I am responsible for implementing evidence-based victim services, trauma response, and community engagement practices into policy, programs, and services both within our company and for our customers. Additionally, I help community groups and city agencies use SST data to enable them to know where to direct their second responders (e.g. violence prevention groups, social workers, and mental health professionals).
At ShotSpotter, we are at the tip of the spear with regards to improving relationships between police and historically marginalized communities who have suffered from the epidemic of gun violence since before I was born. I believe I have the best macro social work job on the planet, and I cannot be more blessed to be a part of such a fantastic organization.”
Paul serves as Community Engagement Director at ShotSpotter where he engages and informs communities across the country on the efficacy and potential of the company’s suite of technologies to not only address crime, but to have a broader positive impact on their neighborhoods. Paul comes to ShotSpotter from Everytown for Gun Safety where he oversaw their Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition to facilitate the exchange of gun violence prevention strategies and best practices between mayors.
Paul studied Political Science at Penn State University. Born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the West Indies, he grew up in Brooklyn, and now lives in Long Island, New York.
“For eight years, I worked in gun violence prevention advocacy. So, when I was given the opportunity to work for a company that provides law enforcement with a tool they can use to respond to shootings more quickly, saving lives, I had to take it.
As Community Engagement Director, I work externally to help communities better understand the efficacy of our solutions, and internally to better position ShotSpotter as a greater part of the solution to this public health crisis, especially for Black and Brown communities who are disproportionately impacted.
As we move forward, I’m honored to continue working toward an end to gun violence. This fight is far from over.”
Our Commitment to Privacy
We take the community’s privacy seriously and are proud to share that we received unanimous approval from the privacy commissions in San Francisco and Oakland. The city of Oakland has the “strongest surveillance oversight law in the country.” We also enlisted the NYU School of Law Policing Project to conduct a thorough privacy assessment and ensure we are meeting best practices. After completing the assessment, the Policing Project reported:
“Although ultimately concluding that the risk of voice surveillance was extremely low in practice, we offered SST a variety of recommendations on how to make its gunshot detection product even more privacy protective. As detailed in our report, SST has adopted nearly all of our recommendations verbatim, with only slight modifications or qualifications based on how ShotSpotter functions.”
“Throughout this process, SST has consistently demonstrated commendable commitment to modifying its technology to balance its public safety protections for individual privacy…We hope others follow SST’s leadership in this regard; indeed, we believe this type of open audit and assessment—whether performed by us or by others — should become the norm for companies selling technologies to governments and policing agencies.”