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KCPD monitoring celebratory gunshots over holiday weekend

July 01, 2016

ShotSpotter detects gunfire

KANSAS CITY, Mo - The Kansas City Police Department will be monitoring celebratory gunshots fired over the holiday weekend.

The department uses technology known as ShotSpotter to figure out where and when the shots are fired off.

Shot Spotter uses audio sensors that help police departments locate gunfire. Sgt. Jake Becchina, with KCPD's Real-time Crime Center, says 80 percent of outdoor gunfire will be located within 20 meters, and that often, it's located within three to five meters.

"If gunfire goes off, it is sent to the incident review center at Shot Spotters headquarters in California," Becchina said. "Out there they listen to it, a human being listens to it, differentiates it and determines for sure that it is in fact gunfire."

Becchina says an alert then gets published within a minute. It's then sent to KCPD's dispatch center, where an officer will be sent to the location.

On Thursday, KCPD and the parents of Blair Shanahan Lane, the 11-year-old girl who was killed on the Fourth of July in 2011 by a stray bullet, hit the streets to talk to residents about the dangers of gunfire.

"A bullet doesn't know a name and doesn't know the face of the person it's going to hit," Michele Shanahan DeMoss, Blair's mother, said.

KCPD wants people to follow three rules over the holiday weekend and always:

On the day that Blair was killed, KCPD says none of those things happened. Multiple shots were fired off and no one called 911.

Shot Spotter has helped KCPD identify certain trends. The department says that during the Fourth of July, guns are fired off five times more often than on any other given day.

KSHB News - Kansas City