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Pasadena Police Go Live With ShotSpotter Gunfire Detection System

Published on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | 1:17 pm

The Pasadena Police Department announced on Wednesday that it has activated the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system in Pasadena to help combat the increasing problem of gun violence. 

“It is operational as of today,” according to Pasadena police spokesperson Lt. William Grisafe. The system went live at 9 a.m.

The ShotSpotter  gunshot detection system is designed to help law enforcement officials identify, locate and deter gun violence. The real-time alerts notify police precisely when and where gun incidents are occuring,  resulting in faster, more accurate responses to the scene to provide medical attention to gunshot victims, recover evidence and interview witnesses. 

The overall goal is to reduce gun violence and improve the safety of the community. 

Interim Police Chief Cheryl Moody called the technology “a game-changer, especially for those communities most  impacted by the violence over the past few years.”

“By installing this system, the  officers of the Pasadena Police Department will be able to quickly respond, save lives and  increase the chance of taking into custody, those responsible for the senseless acts of violence,”  Moody said.

Moody said it is her hope that ShotSpotter will deter future acts of gun violence.

“The gunshot detection system creates an environment of enhanced public safety and security,” police said.

When  a gunshot occurs, the system’s sensors work instantly to triangulate the sound and pinpoint the  location of the gunfire. Trained ShotSpotter acoustic experts are on duty 24/7 to review and qualify all gunfire incidents. If the acoustic expert determines the sound to be actual gunfire, a  detailed alert is sent to the local law enforcement agency. The review and alert occur within a minute or less of the actual gunfire event. 

Research indicates that nationwide, fewer than 20% of all gunshots are reported to 911 dispatchers.  ShotSpotter technology is expected to eliminate the reliance on delayed and/or unreported calls and the  immediate alerts should enable officers to quickly mobilize and safely respond to the incident, police said.

The gunfire data can also provide investigating officers with detailed information to improve evidence collection, prosecution and overall crime fighting efforts. 

According to the ShotSpotter website,  the system improves police response time to gunshots from an average of 4.5 minutes to 60 seconds. The website also boasts that evidence collection improved and places police on average 82 feet away from the location where the shots were fired. 

In early October, the City Council approved a $640,000, three-year contract for the software.

In October police said the system could save lives and possibly deter shootings.

The Pasadena Police Department has responded to more than 300 calls for service from people reporting hearing shots being fired, and an additional 400 incidents of gun-related crimes over the past two years.

During the same period, nearly 40 members of the Pasadena community have been either killed or injured as a result of gun violence. Close to 700 firearms have been seized by police officials.

Residents opposing the technology have said it does not work and it not address issues that lead to crime.

Critics also point to research which said ShotSpotter produced low arrest numbers and privacy issues.

Despite those concerns, law  enforcement officials in other cities, including Denver and Houston, recently extended their ShotSpotter contract.

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One thought on “Pasadena Police Go Live With ShotSpotter Gunfire Detection System

  • Treating the symptoms and not the patient will not solve this issue. Spending money on a system like this instead of gang and drug intervention is simply a fools errand.






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