Sound Thinking
Law Enforcement

Two Things: Put up or shut up time for shot detection system; cash for casinos?

July 31, 2023

This is an opinion-column piece on the use of ShotSpotter in Winston-Salem referencing the brand-new research from Southern Illinois University-based Dennis Mares, whose team reviewed ShotSpotter data from Winston-Salem PD to assess the efficacy of the technology in that city. Referenced in the column are some eye-catching results, including faster response on SST alerts when compared to 9-1-1 calls (5 minutes), reduction in violent crime (24% decrease in aggregate assaults, even as they increase in non-ShotSpotter areas), and a return on investment in the system of about $15-$25. City officials have another year before needing to renew their subscription, but WSPD Captain Amy Gauldin did not hesitate in sharing her own thoughts: “Tech is expensive but if that was a member of my family .. how do you put a price on a life?,” she asked.