BSO INTRODUCES SHOTSPOTTER TECHNOLOGY IN BROWARD COUNTY

We all want to raise our families in safe neighborhoods. We want our children to be able to play outside, ride their bikes and visit friends without having to worry about crime and violence. Like anyone in law enforcement, I’ve wished for a surefire way to end gun violence and rid our streets of illegally-owned firearms.

You might say I’ve been wishing for a magic bullet - some way to know every time a gun is fired, where it was fired, when it was fired and how many times it was fired. Well, I got my wish, and it has nothing to do with magic. Thanks to the generosity of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Broward Sheriff’s Office will be able to use ShotSpotter Gunshot Location® technology for one year. ShotSpotter uses sensors to detect the sounds of gunshots and instantly relays information to law enforcement.

ShotSpotter sensors have been installed in strategic points in a 2-square-mile area that has had a high number of reported gunshots. When a gun is fired, the sensors detect the gunshot’s unique acoustic fingerprint and send an alert to the ShotSpotter monitors in BSO’s communications center.

Each time there are gunshots on the streets of Broward County, a stopwatch starts ticking for first responders. Deputies have to locate the shooting. Paramedics have to get to victims. Crime Scene investigators have to collect casings, and detectives must determine exactly what happened and who was involved.

Often when it happens, residents call 911. The problem is they can’t always tell dispatchers exactly where the shooting was – only where the sound seemed to be coming from. Minutes pass as deputies search for a crime scene. The shooters get away. Injured victims wait for help. Even worse, sometimes in neighborhoods hit hard by gun violence, the residents just lock their doors and don’t even call law enforcement.

With ShotSpotter, dispatchers will have deputies enroute to an exact address seconds after the gunshots. If it’s a drive-by shooting, ShotSpotter will even tell us how fast and in what direction the car was going. This tool will help BSO reduce gun violence, get violent criminals and dangerous weapons off the streets, so we can all enjoy the safe neighborhoods of Broward County.

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