Sound Thinking
Law Enforcement
ShotSpotter changes corporate name to SoundThinking and launches SafetySmart Platform for safer neighborhoods

Everyone Deserves to Feel Safe in their Own Community

SoundThinking™ Provides Over 150 U.S. Cities with the Resources They Need to Stay Safe

Join the Community
Did You Know that Over 80% of Shootings Go Unreported?

On average less than 12% of shootings are reported to 9-1-1. As a result, eight out of ten times when someone fires a gun in your neighborhood, the police never show up, simply because they don’t know about it.

When Gun Crimes Go Unreported
When gun crime isn’t reported, perpetrators grow emboldened, putting everyone else in the community at riskUnaddressed gunfire drives homicides and injuries, but there are other costs to the community as well:
Victims don’t get treated fast enough
crouching person
Residents feel unsafe at home
store closed
Community jobs are lost
The cycle of gun violence continues
*Source: The Effect of Gun Violence on Local Economies, Urban Institute, November 2016.
At the Forefront of Community Safety

Our mission is to reduce gun violence and improve the police-community relationship. Communities like yours are proactively addressing gun violence with our SafetySmart Platform.

3.6 min

reduction in GSW victims transport time


victims found and aided by police in Oakland when no one called 911


reduction in gun violence injuries, Greenville, NC

Communities Count on SoundThinking’s SafetySmart Platform
Data for Good

We understand that there are many key stakeholders involved in upholding community safety. With SoundThinking’s Data for Good initiative, we partner closely with critical institutions in a given community to provide them with data on where shootings occur, so they can focus on areas and individuals that are most in need.

Addressing Youth Gun Violence

At the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) 2022 Annual Conference, SoundThinking’s Community Impact and Engagement Directors Gerard Tate and Paul John sat down with the Mayor of Baltimore and other thought leaders from across the country to talk about how to curb youth gun violence. Here were some major takeaways.

We need to make sure that those who are most impacted by gun violence (young people and their families) are at the table to make decisions about what their future looks like.

Anthony Smith, Executive Director, Cities United
AAMA Panel, April 2022

To learn more about our Community Safety initiatives, visit our Data for Good page.

Community Sentiment on ShotSpotter

Review sentiment survey results from additional cities here.

Meet Our Community Engagement Directors

Dr. Gerard Tate (DSW, LMSW)

Gerard is a Community Impact and Engagement Director at SoundThinking, where he ensures that community stakeholders’ input is integrated into ShotSpotter policies, procedures, and product development. As a Licensed Master Social Worker, he has used his knowledge of the root causes of crime, human behavior, and social policy to advise organizations in creating, implementing, and evaluating violence prevention programs.

Gerard is an adjunct professor at Howard University in the graduate School of Social Work. He holds a B.S. in criminology from Webster University, an MSW with a concentration in social and economic development from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Doctor of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California.

“SoundThinking has provided me the opportunity to bring a social worker lens into a leading public safety technology company. In my role, I am responsible for implementing evidence-based victim services, trauma response, and community engagement practices into policy, programs, and services both within our company and for our customers. Additionally, I help community groups and city agencies use our data to enable them to know where to direct their second responders (e.g. violence prevention groups, social workers, and mental health professionals).

At SoundThinking, we are at the tip of the spear with regards to improving relationships between police and historically marginalized communities who have suffered from the epidemic of gun violence since before I was born. I believe I have the best macro social work job on the planet, and I cannot be more blessed to be a part of such a fantastic organization.”


Paul John

Paul serves as Community Engagement Director at SoundThinking where he engages and informs communities across the country on the efficacy and potential of the company’s suite of technologies to not only address crime, but to have a broader positive impact on their neighborhoods. Paul comes to SoundThinking from Everytown for Gun Safety where he oversaw their Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition to facilitate the exchange of gun violence prevention strategies and best practices between mayors.

Paul studied Political Science at Penn State University. Born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the West Indies, he grew up in Brooklyn, and now lives in Long Island, New York.

“For eight years, I worked in gun violence prevention advocacy. So, when I was given the opportunity to work for a company that provides law enforcement with a tool they can use to respond to shootings more quickly, saving lives, I had to take it.

As Community Engagement Director, I work externally to help communities better understand the efficacy of our solutions, and internally to better position SoundThinking as a greater part of the solution to this public health crisis, especially for Black and Brown communities who are disproportionately impacted.

As we move forward, I’m honored to continue working toward an end to gun violence. This fight is far from over.”
Commitment to Privacy

We take the community’s privacy seriously and are proud to share that we received unanimous approval from the privacy commissions in San Francisco and Oakland. The city of Oakland has the “strongest surveillance oversight law in the country.” We also enlisted the NYU School of Law Policing Project to conduct a thorough privacy assessment and ensure we are meeting best practices. After completing the assessment, the Policing Project reported:

“Although ultimately concluding that the risk of voice surveillance was extremely low in practice, we offered SST a variety of recommendations on how to make its gunshot detection product even more privacy protective. As detailed in our report, SST has adopted nearly all of our recommendations verbatim, with only slight modifications or qualifications based on how ShotSpotter functions.”
“Throughout this process, SST has consistently demonstrated commendable commitment to modifying its technology to balance its public safety protections for individual privacy…We hope others follow SST’s leadership in this regard; indeed, we believe this type of open audit and assessment—whether performed by us or by others — should become the norm for companies selling technologies to governments and policing agencies.”
Policing Project NYU School of Law
*ShotSpotter Respond was rebranded to ShotSpotter in April 2023.
The SoundThinking Team is Dedicated to Serving the Community

Our talented, diverse, and dedicated employees are passionate about improving community safety. Hear what some of our team members have to say about why they love working at SoundThinking.

We Recognize the Urgency Around Protecting Our Physical Environment

As a company focused intently on public safety and the well-being of our communities, we also understand both the importance and the urgency around protecting our physical environment. That’s why our commitment to community safety extends into the realm of protecting marine life, wildlife, and precious ecosystems. Learn more about how our technology is making a significant impact in preventing rhino poaching and fish blasting.

Our passion for creating safer, more connected communities is ingrained in our culture, and we take ethical, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects into account with every business decision we make.
Further Reading


The SafetySmart Platform is a suite of five data-driven tools that enable law enforcement and civic stakeholders to be more efficient, effective, and equitable in driving positive public safety outcomes. SoundThinking’s new SafetySmart Platform goes well beyond ShotSpotter®, the leading acoustic gunshot detection service. It includes the leading law enforcement search engine CrimeTracer™, the comprehensive investigation management system CaseBuilder™, the first of-its-kind gun crime tracking and patrol management and case management tool CaseBuilder ™ Crime Gun, and the resource and patrol management software ResourceRouter™.

SoundThinking offers a suite of data-driven tools that bring together specialized software and objective data, in order to help law enforcement and civic leadership better protect their communities by ensuring the right resources are provided when and where they’re needed most.

Absolutely. SoundThinking provides intelligence that allows police to coordinate safe and efficient responses that require fewer resources in a way that increases community trust.

SoundThinking has taken all the necessary steps to ensure citizen privacy. In the case of ShotSpotter, the risk of sensors picking up human voices is extremely low, as independently verified by the New York University Policing Project. Also, in 2019 the Privacy Advisory Commission of the City of Oakland unanimously approved the Oakland Police Department’s continued use of ShotSpotter despite one of the strongest surveillance ordinances in the country. Sound snippets only include the recording of potential gunfire and one second before and after to establish an ambient noise level. Recorded sounds are only stored by ShotSpotter for 30 hours, and then overwritten.

SoundThinking’s suite of products protect a wide range of city types and sizes ranging from urban metropolitan cities such as Chicago and New York City; medium-sized cities such as Mobile, Tampa, and Oakland; and small cities with populations less than 80,000 such as Forrest City, AR and Perris, CA.

SoundThinking technology is in use in over 150 cities across the country. Learn more about how it’s being used in certain cities to address crime and protect community safety.