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Gun shots vs fireworks: Can you tell the difference?

July 06, 2016

When a gunshot goes off, it activates the system

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 4th of July is a popular time for fireworks. Reporters in Massachusetts found out that some Springfield residents have a hard distinguishing between gun shots and fireworks but there’s a system that can.

Both fireworks and gun shots can sound the same, but residents say the difference could mean life or death.

The fourth of July is Monday and people are excited to see the fireworks, unless, you live in an area where gun shots are heard often. Christina Manship of Springfield said, “You can’t tell the difference. There’s no way of telling the difference. You hear it. You look around. You wonder, ‘Hey, was that a firework or is someone shooting.”

And she’s not alone. The Springfield’s ShotSpotter can tell the difference.

The ShotSpotter system is a military technology that triangulates and pinpoints, the exact spot, within 10 feet, of where a shot was fired or where a firework goes off.  A Springfield police officer, who declined to be on camera, explained what the shot spotter system is and how it works.

The technology pinpoints the location of gunfire and sends that information to police, who then respond. The city’s shot spotter activation system includes audio sensors that are placed in high crime neighborhoods. When a gunshot goes off, it activates the system.

Despite the system being able to recognize the difference, residents aren’t so lucky.

Lucy Dejesus of Springfield said, “We hear fireworks, but if there’s a shooting in the next neighborhood, how do we know to get away from the line of the shooting, if they’re both going on at the same time. It would be hard.”

A time when most are looking forward to seeing the fireworks, others are concerned for the safety of their families.

Whether gang related or not. Let us have our fun. Let us go out. Let us keep our kids safe. Police recommend you don’t take any chances.  If you hear or see something, call the police.

News10 - Springfield