Sometime in January, Rochester, NY, police will have the benefit of a new tool called the shot spotter that pinpoints exactly where gun-shots are fired, according to WHAM-TV13.
In cities that already use it, police credit the shot-spotter for reducing the crime rate and for solving crimes, the station claimed.
Field sensors send the gunfire sound right to a computer which then maps out exactly where the sound came from. The technology allows the gunshot information to be directly sent to a pager or a palm pilot, so officers can arrive at the scene more quickly.
The shot spot radius is about one mile, but the signal travels a little farther in cold weather, or at night.
The same technology immediately brought Phoenix police to an intersection where a road rage scene was playing out. An innocent bystander was shot and killed in the line of fire. The shot spotter made it possible for police to ID the shooter.
Glendale, CA, Police Officer Mike Pena said that if they get a call from an intersection, they may get to within 25 feet of where the shots were actually fired.
The shot-spotter technology helped police in Charleston, SC, solve a homicide. It was early morning and there were no witnesses, but police knew the gunman fired five shots. With the new technology, they traced his path and were led to an alley where they found bullet casings. That evidence eventually led to an arrest.
The shot spotter has allowed police in South Carolina to make 23 arrests over the last three years. In six of those cases, officers arrived before the culprits got away.
Police have also recovered stolen cars and drugs, by coincidence, in areas where the shot spotter led them.
Sgt. Karen Cordray of the North Charleston PD said, What we get is citizens so used to hearing gunfire, they wont call in or report it. With the shot spotter, you dont have to wait for a phone call.
Police in Charleston schedule extra officers during the times they know the shot-spotter will be most active. Those officers