NEWARK, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 28, 2016) - Denver, Colorado topped the nation with the largest reduction in New Year's Eve celebratory gunfire, down 63.4 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to data from SST -- the provider of the ShotSpotter solution. Implementing a proactive policing plan in coordination with ShotSpotter, Denver dropped from 41 gunfire incidents to 15 this past year during the challenging New Year's Eve celebration period. New Year's Eve is the busiest night of the year for illegal "celebratory" gunfire, according to ShotSpotter data, with too many unnecessarily wounded or killed on this day in the U.S. due to celebratory shooting.
In Q4 2015 there were 19,057 gunfire incidents in ShotSpotter coverage areas across the country, and of those, 4,369 (or 22.9%) took place during the New Year's Eve period. SST defines the New Year's Eve period as 24 hours prior to and 48 hours after New Year's Eve -- the busiest night of the year for illegal celebratory gunfire.
After Denver, the city with the second largest decline in New Year's Eve gunfire was Stockton, California. Among cities using ShotSpotter, Stockton experienced two years in a row of significant reductions in celebratory gunfire -- this past year with a 53.6 percent decline (from 84 to 39 incidents) in 2015 and (from 136 to 84 incidents) in 2014. The total two-year decline was from 136 to 39 events. Rounding out the top cities with the highest NYE reductions of 2015 are Omaha, NE, with a 45.7 percent decline (from 46 to 25 incidents) and Savannah, GA with a 39 percent reduction (from 182 to 111).
To help communities and law enforcement curb celebratory gunfire, ShotSpotter offers an online celebratory gunfire prevention resource center at http://www.shotspotter.com/celebratorygunfire with information and strategies to help combat illegal urban gunfire on New Year's Eve, along with a video, entitled Celebratory Gunfire Reduction Strategies, which is available here: http://www.shotspotter.com/system/content-uploads/Celebratory_Gunfire_Reduction_Strategies_2015_v2.mp4
This year, ShotSpotter has also developed a convenient NYE Celebratory Gunfire Reduction door hanger template, which agencies can use to get the word out to local residents about the dangers of NYE gunfire. The door hanger template is available here: http://www.shotspotter.com/system/content-uploads/SST-DoorHanger-Instructions2.pdf
Subject matter experts from ShotSpotter offer these five tips for law enforcement officials to help reduce celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve:
1. Plan ahead -- Do research weeks in advance to identify hot spot areas and address where celebratory gunfire was detected last year.
2. Engage agency personnel early -- Communicate with your personnel along with probation/parole officers, and gang enforcement units.
3. Knock on doors -- Assign uniformed agency personnel to visit each address on the hot spot list and talk with residents weeks before New Year's Eve. Take the time to explain the dangers of celebratory gunfire and tell of first-hand tragedies the local agency might have experienced.
4. Enforce consequences of celebratory gunfire -- Remind residents of the criminal consequences of celebratory gunfire. SST recommends publicizing and enforcing a strict "no tolerance" policy on this activity and aggressive prosecution of the case. (A media template on enforcement is available in the celebratory gunfire resource center).
5. Assign special police units -- During the New Year's Eve period, assign special police units, or overtime cars, to hot spot areas for quick response to gunfire alerts.
In addition to the five tips listed above, ShotSpotter advocates strong community engagement, including:
- Broadly announce your agency's New Year's Eve proactive policing plan, using a combination of community meetings, notices, and social media.
- Engage community and community leaders -- Make them aware of the dangers of celebratory gunfire and encourage them to report all incidents.
- Encourage media to report about the dangers of celebratory gunfire -- Educate readers that law enforcement will take an active role to catch and prosecute celebratory gunfire offenders.
"The Stockton Police Department is committed to its policy of zero tolerance of illegal gun use and its initiative to combat gun violence in our community," said Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones. "Enabling safety, security and the environment to have quality of life and vitality in our community is our mission and commitment."
"Nearly 23 percent of illegal gunfire happens around the holidays and it is critical that we curtail this dangerous and completely unnecessary activity that puts our neighbors and loved ones in harm's way," said Ralph A. Clark, CEO of SST Inc. "This New Year's Eve like in years' past, we will be working all-hands-on-deck so that we can help law enforcement detect, locate and alert on illegal gunfire quickly, which in turn enables a quick and precise response in order to provide a safe environment for the communities we live in."
About SST, Inc.
SST, Inc. is the global leader in scalable and reliable gunfire detection, alert and analysis solutions available today. The company's deep domain experience, intellectual property including 33 issued patents, along with cumulative agency best practice experience, enables measurable outcomes that contribute to reducing gun violence. SST is a proven solution provider with more than 90 installations across the United States and the world. Privately held, the company holds numerous patents resulting from nearly two decades of innovation in the area of acoustic gunshot location technology. Details can be found at www.ShotSpotter.com. Details about our US and foreign patents can be found at http://www.ShotSpotter.com/patents.