Gunshot detection system “ShotSpotter” one year later

ST. LOUIS - About one year ago, St. Louis County Police Department activated a new system to help locate gunfire in an area of North County. ShotSpotter technology uses sensors to pinpoint where shots are fired, then sends the information to officers in real time so they can respond to the scene quickly.

ShotSpotter covers about four square-miles of the Castle Point area in North County. St. Louis County Police Department provided Fox 2 with statistics about how ShotSpotter has performed in its first year.

In the area where ShotSpotter is established, there has been a significant decrease in reports of violent crime. In 2016, there were 330 reports of violent crime. ShotSpotter was activated in June 2017, and the year ended with 236 reports of violent crime. Through May 2018, there have been 122 reports of violent crime in the ShotSpotter area.

Between June 26, 2017, when the system was activated and June 9, 2018, there have been 2,408 ShotSpotter events. These events are incidents where it is deemed likely to be gunshots and excludes false alerts like fireworks and car backfires.

Over the past year, the highest instances of shots detected occurred in December 2017 and January 2018 with 280 and 276, respectively. "A large portion" of the shots fired in January happened on New Years Day.

For 1,450 of the ShotSpotter events, it was determined there was “no report needed.” Four hundred of the events were “unfounded.”

Of the 2,408 ShotSpotter events this past year, 297 also received at least one call for service from someone in the community.

ShotSpotter alerts led to 147 reports being taken by officers. In these reports, it was determined there were 68 incidents of weapon law violation, 28 incidents of aggravated assault and 25 incidents of destruction of property. One report was taken for homicide.