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Nassau county installs ShotSpotter to stem increase in gun crime

Shotspotter : 15 August, 2008  (Application Story)
Trend towards more gun crime in one of the safest counties in America stimulates local police to install gunshot detection system
ShotSpotter announces the Nassau County Police Department, New York received legislative approval to implement the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System within the county.

The Nassau County Police Department will be implementing the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System in the communities of Uniondale and Roosevelt (New York) where there has been a higher incidence of gun violence. ShotSpotter will enable the Department to target gun-crime in these areas. The implementation of the ShotSpotter system is the Department’s latest proactive approach to combating gun violence.

“It is well known that Nassau County is one of the safest counties in the nation,” said Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey. “However, there are areas within this great county that have higher incidences of gun violence than others. To that end, I have made it a priority to eliminate illegal guns from our streets so that everyone can enjoy our low crime rate. Since taking over as Police Commissioner, I have enacted a three-pronged approach to combating gun violence. First, I began by personally shaking the hand of every officer responsible for taking an illegal gun off of our streets. Second, I created the Department’s GunStoppers hotline, which enables callers to anonymously provide information regarding the location of an illegal gun. If an illegal gun is recovered, callers are rewarded through a 'blind' source up to $2,000. Third, by implementing the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System, we will be able to concentrate on the area which currently has a high gun violence rate, which is Roosevelt and Uniondale, so that the moment a shot is fired our officers will be notified immediately and can respond instantaneously with the intelligence he or she needs to be most effective. I anticipate that this technology will not only reduce gun violence but that it will save lives.”

James Beldock, ShotSpotter’s president and chief executive officer said, “Advancements in public safety technology are allowing law enforcement not only to anticipate and prevent crime, but to develop new tactics and best practices for more successful crime prevention and policing. The Nassau County Police Department has a long tradition of adopting technologies and policies aimed at anticipating and thwarting criminal activity early. The ShotSpotter gunshot location system will enable Commissioner Mulvey and the officers of the Nassau County Police Department both to respond more rapidly to gunfire and also to use information gathered by the system to monitor and analyze gun-crime trends within the ShotSpotter GLS coverage area and to develop cutting-edge tactics and programs for eradicating gun violence within Nassau County.”

The ShotSpotter GLS accurately pinpoints and alerts police responders to the locations of gunfire in near real-time. In cities where it is deployed, information provided by the ShotSpotter GLS has been credited with reducing gunfire rates by nearly 60 to 80 percent and violent gun-related crime by 30 to 35 percent. Customer support departments also credit the system with reducing response time to gunshot events.

ShotSpotter GLS sensors are designed to locate the origin of gunfire using acoustic triangulation. When gunfire occurs, sensors pinpoint and locate its point of origin down to the nearest street address including which side of the building the gun was fired from. The system records the number of shots fired, whether the shooter was stationary or moving, and provides audio playback of each gunshot event. This information provides situational awareness to responding officers and additional evidence for post-crime analysis.

“Nassau County taxpayers will be happy to hear that this program is being funded by the Nassau County Police Department’s Asset Forfeiture Unit,” said Commissioner Mulvey. “The Department’s Asset Forfeiture Unit ensures that those who commit crimes do not profit from their illegal activities. The proceeds and instrumentalities of criminal activities are seized and used to fund programs such as ShotSpotter’s and GunStoppers.”

“The ability to finance new police tools and programs using criminal capital is poetic justice,” said Beldock. “Using ShotSpotter system information, Nassau police not only will be able to better respond and proactively target community gun crime, but target the root causes of gun violence.”

“Gun violence destroys families and ruins the lives of many individuals,” said Commissioner Mulvey. “Nassau residents can rest assured that their County Executive, Police Department and County Legislature are taking a proactive approach to eliminating illegal guns from our streets therefore ensuring their safety and the safety of their loved ones.”
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