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NYPD ShotSpotter expanding to Washington Heights, Fort Greene as police see positive results

The NYPD's ShotSpotter program is expanding to include

The NYPD's ShotSpotter program is expanding to include Washington Heights and Fort Greene, the NYPD said on Thursday, Aug. 3. 2017. Photo Credit: Theodore Parisienne

The NYPD is expanding its ShotSpotter program, a technology that picks up on the sound of gunfire and alerts police to it.

Currently, the technology is available across 54 square miles in select neighborhoods of all five boroughs. By the end of the summer, Washington Heights and Fort Greene will be added, bringing the total to 60 square miles, said Jessica Tisch, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of information technology.

“It’s contributed to faster response times to 911 calls or to incidents of shots fired,” Tisch said on Thursday. “We know about more shots fired incidents in the city because of ShotSpotter.”

The technology, which was launched as a pilot program in 2015, is installed in 3-square-mile increments, with about 60 sensors in each, according to the NYPD.

By the end of the year, Tisch said the program will expand a further 9 square miles, including to parts of Staten Island, northern Queens and the Bronx. It will cost about $4.5 million to operate for the entirety of 2017.

Only about 16 percent of ShotSpotter alerts also have someone call and report shots fired to police, Tisch said. She said the department credits ShotSpotter with a number of gun arrests.

So far this year, Tisch said there have been 1,740 activations of the technology, which has about a 5 percent false reporting rate.


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