ShotSpotter paying off for Birmingham Police

Is shot spotter working?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham police were called 2500 block of Bush Boulevard where they found a man shot to death.

That was Tuesday May 28th.

A few days later, police were called to the 3100 block of Ensley Avenue. Again, a victim killed by gunfire.

In both cases, Police got their initial reports from their ShotSpotter technology.

“It’s going to come through with those sensors and let them know something is taking place before a phone call can be made,” said Sgt. Johnny Williams, Birmingham Police.

(Source: WBRC/WBRC via Birmingham Police)

That means sometimes investigators can get an edge on who did it.

“It alerts our officers much faster, therefore their response time is much quicker. And they are able to catch the suspects in the immediate area,” said Williams.

It is unclear what role ShotSpotter played in the two recent shootings.

However, we do know that in the Ensley Avenue shooting police announced an arrest within 48 hours.

“It also helps to pinpoint the area where the shots were fired, which aids in the investigation along the way,” said Williams.

Police caution the technology does not take the place of people calling them. Williams adds the public’s help is still very valuable.

“We’re not trying to discourage anyone from calling police, if they hear shots fired. If they are concerned, notify us. But in these two particular cases ShotSpotter made that call first,” he said.

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