New technology will help police track gunfire

Posted at 5:45 PM, Dec 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 17:45:16-05

CINCINNATI -- Some people think firing a gun is a way to celebrate the New Year, but police warn the stray bullets are a danger.

"Unfortunately, when that bullet goes up, it's going to come down somewhere and we do run the risk of someone being seriously injured," Lt. Col. Paul Neudigate said.

One company, ShotSpotter, has a way of detecting gunfire, giving police a pinpoint location of where it came from. Cincinnati police have been testing the technology.

New numbers released by the company indicate the technology has helped reduce gunfire, on New Year's Eve in particular.

For example, Denver saw a more-than-60 percent drop. That's where Cincinnati leaders visited to see the ShotSpotter technology.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac said earlier this month that he expects Cincinnati to have ShotSpotter up and running here soon.

"We see the ShotSpotter technology coming in 2017," Eliot said. "We really hope to do some special things there."

One big question is where the technology will be deployed. One memo discusses a $235,000 cost for a 3-square-mile area.

Police have said the ShotSpotter will be put in one of the city's five neighborhoods with the most shootings. They're mot sure it will prevent New Year's Eve gunfire, but believe it can help find the 70 percent of shootings that aren't reported to police.

"It's very effective to alerting us to gunfire we didn't know existed," Neudigate said.

Police said they aim to have the ShotSpotter up and running by the summer, a time when shootings traditionally spike.