ShotSpotter’s Impact
on Public Safety

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ShotSpotter is a tool that makes officers aware of gunfire incidents faster giving officers a better opportunity to save lives, improve evidence collection better serve their community.

By itself, it is not a cure-all, but when used as part of a comprehensive gun crime response strategy, it can contribute to positive outcomes for the police and the community.

Independent Academic Research Shows Impact of ShotSpotter on Communities

Enhances overall responses to gunfire

“Only 12% of gunfire incidents result in a 911 call to report gunshots.”
Source: Carr, J. B., and J. L. Doleac. 2016. “The geography, incidence, and underreporting of gun violence: new evidence using ShotSpotter data,” Brookings Research Paper
“With statistical confidence, we can say that ShotSpotter implementation led to the police being alerted to four times as many gunshot incidents during the study period. Before ShotSpotter was implemented, the average number of calls for service to report gunshots was seven per month. After ShotSpotter was implemented, the average number of reported gunshot calls for service increased to 31 per month.”
Source: Carr, J. 2021. “Measuring the Effects of ShotSpotter on Gunfire in St. Louis County, MO.” Policing Project at New York University School of Law.

Improves speed of response

“Gunshots are detected by the ShotSpotter system about 1.5 minutes before 911, giving police a 1.5-minute head start on responding to the scene, identifying victims and transporting victims to the hospital”
Source: Dr. Eric Piza, John Jay College
“By analyzing nine years of gun violence data from Camden, I uncovered that without ShotSpotter, police took an average of 5.4 minutes to respond compared with only 3.7 minutes when ShotSpotter was activated.
Source: Goldenberg, A., D. Rattigan, M. Dalton, J. P. Gaughan, J. S. Thomson, K. Remick, C. Butts, and J. P. Hazelton. 2019. “Use of ShotSpotter Detection Technology Decreases Prehospital Time for Patients Sustaining Gunshot Wounds.” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 87(6): 1253–1259.
“Not only are officers dispatched faster compared to traditional citizen reports for shots fired (1.5 min for AGLS incidents versus 2.6 min for citizens reports), but they also complete their investigation in less time (averaging almost half an hour per citizen report, compared to less than 11 min per AGLS incident.”
Source: Mares, D., and E. Blackburn. 2012. “Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Acoustic Gunshot Location System in St. Louis, MO.” Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 6: 26–42.

Improves spatial accuracy of response

The distance between where a 911 caller reported a gunshot occurring and where the gunshot detection system identified where the shots occurred – on average, those two distances are about 234 feet away from each other in Kansas City.”
Source: Dr. Eric Piza, John Jay College
AGDS tend to provide accurate locational data, meaning that officers arrive at more precise locations.
Source: Mares, D. 2022. “Gunshot Detection - Reducing Gunfire through Acoustic Technology,” Smart Policing.

Reduces transport time and saves lives

“Research published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that there was a 25% decrease in police transport time and a 20% decrease in EMS transport time.”
Source: Maher, Zoe, J. Beard, E. Dauer, M. Carroll, S. Forman, G. Topper, A. Pathak, T. Santora, L. Sjoholm, H. Zhao, A. Goldenberg. 2021. “Police transport of firearm-injured patients. More often and more injured.” The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
The activation of the ShotSpotter technology increased the likelihood of police transport of gunshot victims…This technology may be beneficial in enhancing the care of victims of penetrating trauma.”
Source: Goldenberg, A., D. Rattigan, M. Dalton, J. P. Gaughan, J. S. Thomson, K. Remick, C. Butts, and J. P. Hazelton. 2019. “Use of ShotSpotter Detection Technology Decreases Prehospital Time for Patients Sustaining Gunshot Wounds.” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 87(6): 1253–1259.

Improves evidence recovery

“When separating the cases by the type of crime, we observed 50.0% of homicide cases involving a firearm were noted to have retrieved shell casings in the time period prior to GDT, and this increased to 88.9% after the implementation. Robbery cases with shell casings saw a larger increase, from 11.8% to 41.2% before and after GDT.
Source: Lawrence, D., N. La Vigne, and P. Thompson. 2019. "Evaluation of Gunshot Detection Technology to Aid in the Reduction of Firearms Violence." Washington, DC: Urban Institute.
“Police survey responses about the [AGDS] technology were positive, reporting that it enabled quicker identification of a crime scene, enhanced evidence collection, facilitated prosecution, and provided faster aid to victims.”
Source: Mares, D. 2022. “Gunshot Detection - Reducing Gunfire through Acoustic Technology,” Smart Policing.
“There were 129 NIBIN notifications regarding an incident that occurred during the ShotSpotter deployment. Of these, 32% included a match to a ShotSpotter-identified shooting. This proportion is remarkable considering the 129 notifications were for all of Clark County, while ShotSpotter was limited to just six square miles of coverage.”
Source: Koren, D. 2018. ShotSpotter Pilot Assessment. Las Vegas, NV: Las Vegas Police Metropolitan Police Department.

Additional notes for context: Clark County is 8,061 square miles and the deployment was less than 0.1% of the county geographically (6 square miles), while 32% of NIBIN matches were from ShotSpotter.

The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) automates ballistics evaluations and provides actionable investigative leads in a timely manner.

Impact on gun violence levels

Gun violence is a complex issue and there is no single solution for it. However, studies have shown that ShotSpotter can contribute to reductions when used as part of a comprehensive gun crime response strategy by helping police respond quickly and precisely to incidents of gunfire, the majority of which are never called into 911. It helps them to save the lives of victims, collect evidence and find witnesses to help investigations that can lead to the identification and prosecution of offenders.
“A study conducted in Cincinnati observed that serious gun violence is about 46% lower compared to the pre-treatment period and control tract simultaneously.”
Source: Mares, D.2021. “Evaluating an Acoustic Gunshot Detection System in Cincinnati.” In E. Groff and C. Haberman, eds. Forthcoming. The Study of Crime and Place: A Methods Handbook. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
“Across the eight police beats with ShotSpotter, reported assaults, which include gun-related assaults, declined by about 30 percent following the implementation of the technology relative to comparable areas without it.”
Source: Carr, Jillian. 2021. “Measuring the Effects of ShotSpotter on Gunfire in St. Louis County, MO.” Policing Project at New York University School of Law.
“Gunshot detection technology is a tool for addressing firearm violence that is most effective when law enforcement agencies thoroughly incorporate it into day-to-day procedures and operations. Although GDT’s accuracy has been thoroughly documented, its impacts on crime depend squarely on its implementation.”
Source: La Vigne, N., P. Thompson, D. Lawrence, and M. Goff. 2019. “Implementing Gunshot Detection Technology Recommendations for Law Enforcement and Muinicipal Partners.” Urban Institute.

ShotSpotter Helps Save Lives

Chicago, IL

lives saved in the last five years because of ShotSpotter
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Albuquerque, NM

victims found in 2022 because of ShotSpotter
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Oakland, CA

victims found and aided by police when
no one called in shooting (2020)
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Winston-Salem, NC

gunshot wound victims aided because of ShotSpotter
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Houston, TX

gunshot wound victims aided because of ShotSpotter (Dec 2020 – Sept 2021)
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Pittsburgh, PA

gunshot victims found with the help of ShotSpotter
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Best Practice Report showcases how West Palm Beach utilizes ShotSpotter to save lives. Learn more.

Impact of ShotSpotter on Police Agencies Around the Nation

ShotSpotter Helps Police Take Illegal Guns Off The Streets

Pittsburgh, PA

of crimes solved from alerts in ShotSpotter areas vs 10% in non-coverage areas
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Columbus, OH

133 & 132
arrests and guns off
the streets in 16 months
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Newport News, VA

illegal weapons
seized (2019)
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Toledo, OH

70 & 50
arrests and firearms
seized in just over 10 months
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Denver, CO

1,848 & 337
shell casing connections &
arrests (2018 - 2021)
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Bakersfield, CA

50 & 37
arrests and guns
seized in the first year
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Communities Support ShotSpotter


support the use of acoustic gunshot detection technology by law enforcement
of respondents identifying as Hispanic support the use of gunshot detection technology by law enforcement
“Sixty percent of U.S. adults back the use of gunshot detection technology in general, and that support increases to 66 percent for its use by law enforcement and 65 percent for national agencies. 69 percent of respondents identifying as Hispanic support the use of gunshot detection technology by law enforcement.”
Source: Teale, Chris. 2021. “3 in 5 Adults Back the Use of Gunshot Detection generally. Even More Support Its Use By Law Enforcement”. Morning Consult.

Chicago | Illinois

of respondents in Chicago support the use of gunshot detection technology
of respondents identifying as African American have a favorable view of ShotSpotter
“72% of all respondents in Chicago supported acoustic gunshot detection with majority-levels of support in every district. Among those who credited the system with saving lives, support rose to 84%. 67% of respondents identifying as African American have a favorable view of ShotSpotter.”
Source: Chicago Community Sentiment Survey on Crime and Gunshot Detection. 2022. Fallon Research & Communications Inc. and the National Policing Institute

Cincinnati | Ohio

agree ShotSpotter is an effective way to reduce crime
would recommend ShotSpotter to other neighborhoods
“Following the deployment of ShotSpotter, nearly 95% of Price Hill residents surveyed agreed that ShotSpotter is an effective way to reduce crime, while nearly 90% believed that ShotSpotter represented a “good use” of taxpayer money. Residents were equally enthusiastic to share their positive experiences with others, with hearly 9 out of 10 willing to recommend ShotSpotter to another neighborhood.”
Source: Cincinnati Police Department: Price Hill ShotSpotter Survey Evaluation Report

ShotSpotter Improves
Precision Responses and Community Safety Every Day

FOX8, Winston-Salem

ShotSpotter helps officers get guns off the street, save lives

“We’re implementing technology, whether it’s ShotSpotter, whether it’s the Real Time Crime Center, to fight the crime the best that we can, but we need the help of the community because they’re the ones living there,” said Capt. Amy Gauldin with the department’s criminal investigations division.
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WGN9, Chicago

ShotSpotter alert led officer to save a

Two Chicago police officers were first on scene for a ShotSpotter alert and credited with saving a 13-year-old by immediately transporting the boy in their squad car.
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The Virgin Islands Consortium

ShotSpotter Tech Leads to Arrest of Man

The responding officers utilized the ShotSpotter application system to pinpoint the exact location of the reported gunshots that were fired and conducted a physical inspection in the area.
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ABC News, Chicago

Gun violence is dropping as police credit new tactics, community investment

In Chicago, shootings are down 20% through the end of summer and homicides have fallen 16%. That means 101 fewer people were shot this year than last.
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WAVY, Virginia Beach

Man who fired gun in Virginia Beach arrested with help from newly expanded ShotSpotter tech.

Newly expanded ShotSpotter tech caught a suspect with a cache of weapons.
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ABC20, Springfield, IL

Two men are behind bars after a ShotSpotter alert

Springfield Police responded to a ShotSpotter alert. Two suspects were found at the scene. Several spent shell casings and suspected cannabis were also found near the home identified by ShotSpotter.
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Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa

ShotSpotter technology saves another life in Nelson Mandela Bay

The life of a 16 year old child may have been cut short were it not for the quick response by the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Metro Police to a shooting incident, picked up by Shotspotter technology. This is the second life that has been saved this year as a result of this technology immediately alerting law enforcement authorities to gunfire in the area.
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25 NEWS - WEEK Peoria, IL

ShotSpotter alert led officer to save a victim's life

Officers first responded to the scene for a ShotSpotter alert of multiple rounds fired. They gave aid to the victim until he was transported to an area hospital.
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@ColumbiaPDSC, Twitter

Officer rendered first aid to a serious gunshot victim after responding to ShotSpotter alert

Columbia Police responded to two ShotSpotter alerts. The male victim was found outside of a residence with serious injuries. An officer initially rendered first aid before EMS arrived.
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NBC5, Chicago

ShotSpotter alert lead officers to an unresponsive pregnant women with gunshot wound

She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but later died, police said. The woman was eight months pregnant and doctors were able to deliver her baby, who remains in critical condition.
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KCRA3 Sacramento, CA

ShotSpotter identified at least 19 shootings over the weekend

Sacramento police officers made 10 gun-related arrests throughout the weekend, resulting in nine illegal firearm seizures and at least 94 rounds of bullets recovered. Of the 19 shootings recorded by ShotSpotter, 13 were not reported to law enforcement.
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TribLIVE Pittsburgh, PA

Cops responding to Shotspotter alert may have prevented a tragedy

Pittsburgh police officers responding to a Shotspotter alert find gas line ruptured by gunfire; homes evacuated
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@RPD_PSI Rochester, Twitter

ShotSpotter alert lead officers to a gunshot victim, followed by investigation and arrest

Rochester police officer discovered a 39-year-old male shot in the chest by responding to a ShotSpotter activation. The coordinated effort by officers, investigators, & crime analysts resulted in the quick arrest of a parolee, and recovery of 2 illegal guns.
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@NYPDPSA2, Twitter

NYPD Housing PSA 2 patrol cops rapid response to a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots

Followed by timely dissemination of intel to the field & FIO, the illegal gun was removed and the person in possession was arrested.
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ABC30 Fresno

Fresno Chief Attributes Quick Response to Downtown Shooting to ShotSpotter

Many thankful the suspect was stopped almost immediately. Police Chief Jerry Dyer attributes officer's quick response to ShotSpotter technology.
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ABC15 Arizona

ShotSpotter Technology Helps Arrest Serial Shooter in Arizona

Ten of the incidents happened on or next to the apartment complex. Glendale investigators found a lot of shell casings, in large part due to Shotspotter technology.
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Policía arresta a sujeto por disparar al aire

Una alerta del Sistema de detección de disparos “Shot Spotter” llevó a los agentes del precinto de Monte Hatillo hasta el Residencial Jardines de Campo Rico, en Río Piedras, donde en la madrugada de hoy arrestaron a un individuo al que le ocuparon una pistola y narcóticos.
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Local News 10 - Newport News, VA

Chief Says ShotSpotter a game changer

“There are 16 people, 16 less families affected by gun violence in the city right now..." Illegal firearms recoveries up 33%
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FOX 16, Little Rock, AK

ShotSpotter Calls LRPD to Homicide, Victim Worked to Stop Violence in LR

Police say no one called 911 about shots being fired, but the gunshot was picked up by the new ShotSpotter technology.
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