BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore has announced that it is implementing new technology to help curb shootings in a city that has been plagued with more than 100 homicides this year.
“ShotSpotter” sends real-time alerts to notify the police of precisely when and where gun violence occurs so that officers can “respond faster and more safely, recover evidence such as shell casings or guns, interview witnesses, and ensure timely medical attention for any gunshot victims,” according to the Baltimore Police Department.
“Central to our strategy to reduce violence is the utilization of the latest crime fighting technology,” Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said in a statement. “We are confident that the implementation of this sophisticated intelligence gathering capability will enhance our efforts to get illegal guns and criminals off our streets.”
The technology sends series of audio sensors deployed high atop light posts and buildings. When a gunshot is fired, “the sensors triangulate the sound and pinpoints the number of shots fired and the location,” police say.
“Shotspotter, along with our Strategic Decision Support Centers, will continue to position us to be proactive in the crime fight, but also quickly reactive should a gun be discharged,” Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said. “This technology will enhance our ability to quickly identify suspects illegally firing guns in Baltimore City.”
The city has been riddled with violent crime after a decline in homicides to start the year. Baltimore went 12 days without a murder in February, but since then, the numbers have spiked. April brought 34 homicides, including a mother and daughter who were executed in their West Baltimore home, a woman shot in the head during a carjacking in Highlandtown and a 61-year-old man who was left paralyzed after being shot as he was returning home from church.
The murder of a 16-year-old boy earlier this month marked the 100th homicide in the city in 2018.