New From MPD: Audio Surveillance Police Action!

In the middle of the sad Washington Post story about a landscaper slain in SE, is this tantalizing paragraph:

Police received the first report of the shooting from new technology that recognizes the sound of gunfire. A device known as the “ShotSpotter” recently was installed in the area and helped police pinpoint the location of the shooting.

What might “Shot Spotter” be? And where is this new citizen surveillance tool deployed in Washington, DC?

From the ShotSpotter website:

The ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System uses the principle of acoustic triangulation to locate gunfire across wide areas. [..]ShotSpotter sensors detect gunfire at a range of one to two miles away from our sensors, and our systems have been shown to be accurate to within 25 meters over one to two mile ranges.

From the MPD Homicide Reduction Strategy:

ShotSpotter: The FBI has begun a pilot program to install Shot Spotter sensors in the highest crime areas of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh MPD Districts. These sensors detect gunshots fired, triangulating the location of the shots and immediately alert the FBI and the MPD that shots have been fired at a specific location

So kids, we now have yet another way for Big Brother to keep tabs on us. First it was protester CCTV, then surveillance camera gentrification, and now its audio surveillance for police action!

4 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 10:56 am

    I actually really like the idea of the shotspotter technology. While I object to cameras, it’s because they don’t *work*, and their reach is miniscule. Generally, if a firearm is discharged outside of a firing range, the police ought to be involved. I cannot imagine a situation in which the police ought not to be involved.

  2. smouie kablooie (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 1:25 pm

    For someone as anti-gun as you are Wayan, I’m surprised you don’t want the police to know when shots are fired in your home town.

  3. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

    It’s getting to the point in this country that a guy can’t shoot off his guns in his own yard anymore.

    Seriously, this type of thing seems more like a “put the public at ease with lots of money” program than it seems like anything useful. It encourages citizens to wait inside and let the police come solve problems instead of urging them to be present in their neighborhoods so people know someone is watching.

    When it’s your neighbor who sees things from down the street you are less likely to commit crimes than when it’s some million-dollar gadget that can tell the five-o where a gun was shot.

    And let’s remember that people who shoot off firearms often don’t stay around afterward. So it tells where a gun was fired, not who fired it, which way the assailant went, etc.

    To me this looks like a slippery slope o the next step, which is installing cameras everywhere to work in conjunction with the sensors, which I doubt will work anyway.

    I am not pro-gun. I have seen firsthand the damage bullets can do to the human body, but this looks like a waste of money and the first step in violating our basic liberties.

  4. Angella (unregistered) on October 19th, 2006 @ 10:24 am

    Let us not forget that no one outside of the police dept. is standing up to stop the continous and escalating violence in Washington.

    I have worked first hand in several of these districts and it is frightening when all you want to do is your job and you have to constantly look over your shoulder to make sure you haven’t opened up a phone pedestal with large quantities of drugs in it, when all you are there for is to fix the phone service. And some thug comes out of nowhere with a gun.
    I feel that if a person such as this Landscaper cannot feel safe enough to do their job as I did not that the government and the police dept. have every right to try every measure to stop these idiots.

    Have there not been enough children killed at Ballou with guns. Have there not been enough killings in general in the district? Just this year alone! Also, do not forget the incredible pace in which technology moves, “shotspotter” may not be the best answer right now, but it is at the very least a step in the right direction to keep people from harm and to put these punks behind bars where they belong.

    And let us not forget that the punk that shot the landscaper was picked up within 30 minutes of the shooting. Not too shabby, at least it got the presence of the police there quickly.

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