Why you could hear more gunfire than normal in your neighborhood Thursday night

Why you could hear more gunfire than normal in your neighborhood Thursday night
ShotSpotter technology uses audio sensors to triangulate and pinpoint the number of gunshots fired to within 25 meters. (SOURCE: Shotspotter)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - People who live in nine Cincinnati neighborhoods could hear an abnormal amount of gunfire Thursday as the Cincinnati Police Department tests its ShotSpotter system.

CPD will be calibrating the system from 6-10 p.m. Thursday, the department said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

The neighborhoods span each of CPD’s five districts and include:

  • CUF
  • East Westwood
  • Evanston
  • Over-the-Rhine
  • Mt. Auburn
  • North Fairmount
  • South Fairmount
  • Westwood
  • West End

Calibrating the system involves CPD’s SWAT Team and ShotSpotter engineers test-firing in those neighborhoods.

The department says officers will notify residents where the testing will be conducted before any live firing takes place.

CPD says people should still call 911 if they hear what they believe to be gunfire unless they are specifically aware they are near a testing location.

ShotSpotter technology was expanded to the West End, Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton in May.

According to city officials, the technology helps proactively fight local crime by instantly and automatically notifying police officers of illegal gunfire and pinpointing the exact location where the gunfire took place.

Police departments utilizing ShotSpotter have found that upwards of 80 percent of all shots-fired activity is never called into 911, according to a ShotSpotter spokesperson.

The technology uses audio sensors to detect gunshots, city officials say. The sensors triangulate and pinpoint the number of shots fired to within 25 meters.

When a gunshot is detected, ShotSpotter sends a real-time alert to the dispatch center as well as on-patrol officers, according to the city. The alert contains various pieces of data including a precise time of the gunfire and an exact location.

The tech improves officer response times and makes it easier to recover evidence such as shell casings or guns, interview witnesses, and ensure timely medical attention for gunshot victims, the city says.

The expansion of ShotSpotter in May came as the city was experiencing a surge in gun homicides.

That surge appears not to have abated.

Yesterday a top police official told city leaders Cincinnati continues to be on pace for a historically high number of homicides in 2020.

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