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News

Case study available on gun crime conviction using ShotSpotter

Shotspotter : 12 March, 2009  (Application Story)
Acoustic forensic evidence gathered by Los Angeles police in a murder trial using ShotSpotter's Gunshot Location System is the subject of a detailed case study into how the technology was used in the conviction
ShotSpotter has announced the availability of a case study detailing how acoustic and geolocation evidence gathered from the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System (GLS) was used by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. This evidence assisted in the successful first degree murder conviction of two known gang members.

The ShotSpotter GLS provided acoustic and georeferenced evidence that corroborated the events as detailed by the sole witness to the murder. This evidence revealed 18 rounds had been fired by two different caliber weapons. Additionally, this data showed a shot by shot chronology that identified the precise location of each and every round fired and established a timeline of shots fired which identified which shooter had fired which round.

"This case study perfectly illustrates how all levels of law enforcement can derive value from the ShotSpotter GLS," said James Beldock, president and chief executive officer of ShotSpotter. "By deploying a wide-area acoustic surveillance system, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was able to gather acoustic evidence which proved essential to their subsequent legal case. This evidence assisted the prosecuting attorney by providing additional evidence that helped secure a successful conviction. Collecting such, in this case evidence which specifically proved two different people had to have been firing two different weapons at the same time, would not have been possible without the ShotSpotter GLS."

The ShotSpotter GLS is a wide-area acoustic surveillance system that detects and locates gunshot and explosive events in near real-time. Thirty-five cities and counties across the U.S. currently use the system for tactical and strategic intelligence-led policing. The system stores event data in a historical database for strategic and predicative crime analysis that reveals crime trends and hot spot areas. Customers using the ShotSpotter GLS report a reduction in violent crime rates up to 40 percent and gunfire rate reductions by as much as 60 to 80 percent. Data provided by the ShotSpotter GLS has been used successfully to build proactive anti-crime strategies and operations. In court cases, system data has established a timeline of events, successfully refuted and corroborated eye witness testimony and revealed the number of shooters at a crime scene.

"As an early adopter and advanced user of the ShotSpotter GLS, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has been able to leverage system intelligence and comprehensive data on gun crime occurring within their coverage area to better analyze, monitor and reduce gun-crime," said Gregg Rowland, senior vice president of ShotSpotter. "Law enforcement agencies armed with the ShotSpotter GLS are able to utilize this data not only as a force multiplier, strategically and tactically in their anti-crime programs and operations, but as scientific evidence in a court of law and this case study shows how."
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