New Haven Planning to Expand Use of ShotSpotter Technology

ShotSpotter is technology that detects, locates and alerts police when and where shots are fired – potentially saving lives.

“This calls the police in less than 60 seconds and tells us within four square feet exactly where the shot was fired, whether it was one gun or two, whether they were walking driving or standing still,” New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman said.

ShotSpotter is helping track down who pulled the trigger, Esserman said, while also reducing and deterring gun violence.

Last year, New Haven had the second largest decline in gunfire crime among cities using ShotSpotter.

“New Haven is one of our leading edge clients here they’re in the process of expanding,” said Ralph Clark, President and CEO of SST, Inc. “They’ve seen some great results in reducing gun violence over the past year.”

This week New Haven hosted the first ShotSpotter Customer Advisory Board meeting, attended by police from about 10 communities across the country utilizing the technology.

“This is an indispensable tool to allow police departments to respond to gun violence,” Clark said.

ShotSpotter covers 1.5 square miles of the Elm City with higher instances of gunfire.

“We don’t talk with specificity as to where it is,” Chief Esserman said.

Mayor Toni Harp (D) and the Board of Alders are backing an expansion of what’s become a worthwhile investment, Esserman added.

“In May, we’ll be in five square miles of the city, nearly a third of New Haven,” Esserman said.

ShotSpotter’s yearly cost is $65-95 thousand per square mile.

“We got a discount by being an experimental site and by sharing some of our data,” Esserman said.

Clark told NBC Connecticut his Silicon Valley based company is working on an upgrade to start sending alerts directly to patrol officers on their mobile phones.

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