ShotSpotter and what it can do for Sacramento, CA

What is ShotSpotter?

In Sacramento, CA officials are looking at and raising money to install several systems to pinpoint gunshot locations to better protect the streets. A gunshot locator or gunfire location system; also known as ShotSpotter, is a device that uses optics and acoustics to locate where a gun has been fired, the information is then relayed onto a map giving its general location. These sensors are usually used by law enforcement, the military and security companies.


The facts

Having lived in Sacramento most of my life I’ve heard my fair share of gunfire. In 2011 California had the highest gun related murders at 68%. 4,638 were suicide and 3,752 were murder. That is even with California’s strict gun laws. More than 80% of gunshots are not reported to 9-1-1. That is a measly 20% being reported.

ShotSpotter has been installed in 46 different cities and when the data was analyzed between all the cities all 46 saw a median of 12.8% reduction of gunfire with in a year. San Francisco, Ca being down a whopping 38.6% all on its own. Because of Sacramento, CA many budget cuts to their police departments, ShotSpotter would allow the police force to do more with less. It would be an aid to their efforts to clean up the streets and make the neighborhoods safe again. More college age students would feel safer about enrolling and attending their classes knowing that the police would get there quicker if there ever was an attack. From 1999 to the present there have been a total of 16 gun related incidents at schools, 41 injuries and 13 fatalities. While that is in the whole of California, it is important to remember that gun crime doesn’t just happen in Sacramento. These are just a few reasons why ShotSpotter would be a great addition to Sacramento’s police force.


How would ShotSpotter help the City of Sacramento?

    • Keeps the police safer
    • police would be able to respond to victims of gun crimes even if they don’t call 9-1-1
    • quicker response time
    • a better idea where the gun crime is in an area
    • help keep kids safer
    • More arrests due to quicker response time
    • Less criminals on the street due to quick arrests
    • Less illegal gun ownership
    • repeat offenders will be caught…again
    • more gun crimes will get solved or better yet they won’t even happen
    • safer schools or public hangouts


How it has helped already?

In June of 2015 the first ShotSpotter was installed. Since its installation 454 gunshots have been detected but only about 90 shots have been called in. Most times the victims don’t report being shot either. The City of Sacramento Police are currently asking for $165,000 to keep ShotSpotter going in South Sacramento and are asking for $210,000 to install it in North Sacramento. Think about how much this system would help aid the police in protecting our neighborhoods, our kids! By installing this system, the police would be able to prevent more crime instead of responding to it.


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