NEWARK, Calif. – June 30, 2015 – In anticipation of the July 4th holiday weekend, the busiest time of the year for dangerous celebratory gunfire in the United States, SST/ShotSpotter shared key strategies for police and communities to combat and prevent illegal urban gunfire leading up to and throughout the holiday period.
Preventing Celebratory Gunfire
Community cooperation is key in reducing celebratory gunfire, according to SST, the maker of ShotSpotter® Flex™, and the global leader in gunfire detection, location, alerting and analysis. SST offers these strategies for community leaders looking to partner with local law enforcement to curb the typical spikes in celebratory gunfire in their communities.
• Engage community leaders to be aware of the dangers of celebratory gunfire;
• Encourage citizens to report all incidents to police, whether or not they are sure that what they heard was actually gunfire;
• Support an increased police presence to help communicate that law enforcement is serious about curbing gunfire;
• Alert the community to proactive enforcing of the law – urban gunfire is illegal;
• Spread the word about the grave dangers of celebratory gunfire.
“With the upcoming July 4th holiday, certain irresponsible individuals in our communities ‘celebrate’ by shooting guns up into the air. These ‘stray’ bullets can injure and kill innocent people,” said Ralph Clark, CEO of SST/ShotSpotter. “We want to help law enforcement and local communities prevent celebratory gunfire by sharing proven strategies that have been used effectively in many cities across the U.S., and can be easily implemented in any city.”
Celebratory Gunfire: The Problem
Celebratory gunfire is a very serious issue that wounds hundreds and kills dozens of people each year. Deaths and injuries are reported and investigated every year, across the country, when people are struck by random bullets speeding back to Earth. For those hit by falling bullets, the chance of the wound being fatal is far higher than a typical shooting. Deaths from regular shootings are between 2% and 6%, while for those struck by falling bullets the death rate was close to one third.
The reason is simple – those unlucky enough to be hit by falling shells are more likely to be struck on the head . A study by firearms expert Julian Hatcher showed that .30 caliber rounds can reach terminal velocities of 300 feet per second as they fall. Research has also indicated that 200 feet per second is enough to penetrate the skull. Examples of fatalities due to celebratory gunfire abound.
SST statistics show that there are strong seasonal gunfire periods, where approximately 15 percent of all gunfire incidents take place on the holidays around New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July. About two-thirds of that is around the 4th of July and about one third is around New Years. See attached graphic breakdown of 2013 celebratory gunfire tracked in U.S. cities using ShotSpotter.
SST has found that when law enforcement and the community work together to curtail celebratory gunfire, they have been effective in measurably reducing celebratory gunfire incidents. Miami-Gardens Florida saw a 69% reduction in gunfire from one New Year’s Eve to the next when proactively educating the community on the dangers of illegal gunfire. Effective actions that they implemented included innovative policing strategies, community engagement and the deployment of ShotSpotter.
SST/ShotSpotter has leveraged the experience and best practices of their law enforcement partners across the country to make a strategic toolkit available to any community. To review this gunfire prevention information, strategies and tips, visit ShotSpotter’s resource page where these materials are made available for any community or law enforcement agency to download; www.ShotSpotter.com/celebratorygunfire
ShotSpotter Flex helps local law enforcement agencies by directing police to the precise location of illegal gunfire incidents enabling first responders to aid victims, collect evidence and quickly apprehend armed, dangerous offenders. The ShotSpotter actionable intelligence can then be used to prevent future crimes by positioning law enforcement when and where crime is likely to occur. With ShotSpotter Flex, police now possess a scientific barometer of success since smart policing leads to fewer shootings.
About SST, Inc.
SST, Inc. is the global leader in gunfire detection and location technology providing the most trusted, scalable and reliable gunfire alert and analysis solutions available today. SST’s ShotSpotter Flex℠ is the leading gunfire alert and analysis solution for detecting gunshots and providing critical intelligence to give law enforcement agencies the detailed real-time data needed to investigate, analyze and prosecute gun related crimes. The company’s deep domain experience, along with cumulative agency best practice experience, enables measurable outcomes that contribute to reducing gun violence. SST is a proven solution provider with more than 90 installations across the United States and the world. Privately held, the company holds numerous patents resulting from nearly two decades of innovation in the area of acoustic gunshot location technology. Details about our US and foreign patents can be found at https://www.ShotSpotter.com/patents.
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Media Contact: Liz Einbinder +1 (415) 577-8255 Email: leinbinder@ShotSpotter.com
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