SOURCE: ShotSpotter

October 08, 2014 13:14 ET

ShotSpotter Reports More Than 20 Percent Reduction in Gunfire Incidents Across U.S. During First Half of 2014

Fast Police Response to Gunfire Crimes in Progress Is Key to Decrease

NEWARK, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 8, 2014) - SST, Inc., the maker of ShotSpotter Flex™ and the global leader in gunfire detection and analysis, today announced that its National Gunfire Index revealed that gunfire incidents during the first half of 2014 are down by 20.6 percent, compared to first half of 2013, in the 31 communities across the U.S. where ShotSpotter was deployed during both periods. 

Year-on-Year Comparison of 31 Communities
During the first half of 2014, SST reported 11,675 gunfire incidents occurred in the 107.6 square miles in those areas; down from 14,703 in the same period in 2013 over 98.6 square miles. Gun incidents in the sample area were down 20.6 percent even though some cities increased their coverage area. Gunfire incidents per square mile decreased from 149.1 to 108.5 from the first half of 2013 versus the first half of 2014. The SST National Gunfire Index compares gunfire incidents from the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2013 in the key locations that have consistently used ShotSpotter since before January 1, 2013. The sample represents an "apples to apples" comparison of the same 31 areas.

Every region in the sampling of 31 communities where ShotSpotter is in use saw a decrease in incidents per square mile from an average of 125 per square mile in the first six months of 2013, to 82.7 per square mile in the first six months of 2014. The Northeast had the largest percentage decrease -- down 39.1 percent, and the Midwest saw the greatest decrease in absolute number of gunfire incidents, down from 275.8 to 200.7 incidents per square mile.

"The gunfire index data is extremely encouraging and suggests what cities and their law enforcement agencies can accomplish with a comprehensive gun violence reduction effort focused on enhanced response and community engagement," said Ralph A. Clark, President and CEO of SST. 

ShotSpotter Results Overall
Currently 85 police departments nationwide use ShotSpotter to help combat illegal urban gunfire. In the first half of 2014, ShotSpotter Flex detected a total of 19,946 separate gunfire incidents in its total coverage area. Excluding holidays, there were 17,863 incidents, which equates to 98.2 gunfire incidents every day, or 4.1 incidents every hour. While the number of incidents has declined, at the same time the average number of rounds per incident (3.2) is up around 14 percent, possibly suggesting fewer incidents are coupled with more serious gunfire intentions. Regions varied greatly in the average number of rounds per incident: Caribbean remained the highest and actually increased from 4.1 average rounds per incident to 4.7.

The index also revealed peak shooting times vary among the geographic regions. In the West, peak shooting was at 10:25 PM local time, whereas the Caribbean peaked around 1:00 AM local time. The peak shooting times in ShotSpotter coverage areas account for almost 80 percent of gunfire incidents. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights account for 53 percent of all gunfire activity.

While gun incidents were down by 20.6 percent in the total sample area of 31 cities, some cities reduced gun incident rates even more significantly. Leading them was Springfield, MA with an overall decrease of 60.4%. 

"Having ShotSpotter alerts sent right to our patrol cars is a huge asset because we do not have to wait for our dispatcher to alert officers to a shots fired call -- we are en route immediately," said Police Commissioner John Barbieri of Springfield, MA Police Department, which saw the greatest decrease in gunfire incidents. "We have implemented an automated, proactive strategy for using ShotSpotter that gets us on the scene of crimes in progress fast. In 2013, we started tracking the number of arrests and guns we've recovered due solely to ShotSpotter alerts -- it's making a huge difference. Having this technology alert my officers that there is a gun at the scene they are responding to allows them to approach the call cautiously, thus making them safer. You cannot put a price tag on this."

"Our mission is clear, we will reduce the number of crime victims and make people feel safer in the City of Camden. ShotSpotter helps us do that," stated Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson. "We had our first gun arrest within two hours of implementation of this technology, and in the second incident, we were able to apprehend a suspect test firing a high powered rifle. We leverage technology to make us smarter and faster while broadening our scope of coverage; it enables us to be more strategic in proactively preventing gun crime."

"Keeping our families and children out of harm's way is a priority for New Haven," said Police Chief Dean M. Esserman. "As evidenced from the ShotSpotter National Gunfire Index results, New Haven's gunfire incidents have dropped 40.6% and we think this is a significant number, indicating that our efforts to reduce gun violence are succeeding. With ShotSpotter our police officers are responding more quickly to incidents, recovering more immediate criminal evidence and effectively tying together more gun violence cases."

ShotSpotter Flex helps police departments transform their policing practices from reactive to proactive by instantly notifying officers of gunshot crimes in progress with real-time data delivered to dispatch centers, patrol cars and even smartphones. With real-time alerts, first responders receive precise gunfire incident information, allowing informed decisions for faster emergency response while also improving situation intelligence and increasing first responder safety. ShotSpotter gunfire data also enables law enforcement agencies to improve evidence collecting, prosecution and overall police effectiveness.

Currently ShotSpotter is deployed across 85 U.S. communities and the Caribbean, totaling more than 225 square miles of coverage area. The 31 ShotSpotter coverage areas, for which the first half of 2013 and first half of 2014 data were compared and compiled in this latest National Gunfire Index include: Brockton, MA; Camden, NJ; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; East Palo Alto, CA; Fall River, MA; Hartford, CT; Hempstead, NY; Kansas City, MO; Miami Gardens, FL; Milwaukee, WI; New Bedford, MA; New Haven, CT; Oakland, CA; Omaha, NE; Paterson, NJ; Plainfield, NJ; Prince Georges County, MD; Quincy, WA; Rochester, NY; Rocky Mount, NC; Saginaw, MI; San Francisco, CA; St. Croix, USVI; St. Louis, MO; St. Thomas, USVI; Springfield, MA; Suffolk County (Brentwood), NY; Suffolk County (Huntington Station), NY; Suffolk County (N Bellport), NY; Wilmington, NC.

About SST, Inc.
SST, Inc. is the global leader in gunfire detection and location technology providing the most trusted, scalable and reliable gunfire alert and analysis solutions available today. SST ShotSpotter's inaugural 2013 National Gunfire Index, released in April, revealed that gunshots are both vastly under-estimated and under-reported. SST's ShotSpotter Flex™ is the leading gunfire alert and analysis solution for detecting gunshots and providing critical intelligence to give law enforcement agencies the detailed real-time data needed to investigate, analyze and prosecute gun related crimes. The company's deep domain experience, along with cumulative agency best practice experience, delivers measurable outcomes that contribute to reducing gun violence. SST is a proven solution provider with more than 80 installations across the United States and the world. Privately held, the company possesses multiple patents resulting from nearly two decades of innovation in the area of acoustic gunshot location technology. Information about SST and ShotSpotter can be found at www.sst-inc.com or www.shotspotter.com. The full 2013 National Gunfire Index can be downloaded at www.ShotSpotter.com/ngi. You can also follow SST and @ShotSpotter solutions on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Visit the Index landing page here: www.shotspotter.com/1H2014NGI 

Contact Information