NEWARK, Calif., June 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BBQs, parades and fireworks are some of the more traditional ways Americans like to celebrate the Fourth of July, but unfortunately the holiday has also become one of the busiest nights of the year for illegal urban gunfire. The period from the evening of July 3 to the morning of July 5 consistently has shown a spike for gunfire incidents, making it the second busiest of the year behind the New Year’s Eve period. To help communities and law enforcement curb celebratory shooting, ShotSpotter (NASDAQ: SSTI), the leader in solutions that help law enforcement officials identify, locate and deter gun violence, today shared some proven strategies.
Celebratory gunfire is a very serious issue that has wounded hundreds and killed dozens in recent years in the U.S. alone. Deaths and injuries are reported and investigated every year when people are struck, often fatally, by gunfire falling back to the ground. Effective gunfire reduction strategies begin weeks in advance and include analysis, planning and research. Working together with community leaders, law enforcement can be better prepared to address this type of illegal gunfire in their cities.
Reduction Strategies for Law Enforcement
- Identify hot spot areas where celebratory gunfire was detected in previous years.
- Have uniformed agency personnel visit each address on the list and talk with residents. Some agencies bring along a community member who has been previously injured by celebratory gunfire to bring the seriousness of the issue home.
- Take the time to explain the dangers of celebratory gunfire and tell of first-hand tragedies the local agency might have experienced.
- Remind residents of the criminal consequences of celebratory gunfire including the enforcement of a strict “no tolerance” policy and aggressive prosecution of these cases.
- Assign special police units, or overtime cars, to hot spot areas for quick response to gunfire alerts.
- Use social media to get the word out to the community and to educate them on the dangers of celebratory gunfire and the zero-tolerance policy.
- Hang door hangers (in multiple languages) in hot-spot neighborhoods warning of the dangers of illegal celebratory gunfire and how it is subject to arrest.
Strategies for Community Engagement
- Engage community and community leaders to be aware of the dangers of celebratory gunfire and encourage them to report all incidents.
- Increase police and special unit presence showing the community that law enforcement is serious about curbing gunfire, which in turn helps alert the community to proactive enforcing.
- Encourage media to report about the dangers of celebratory gunfire and educate their audiences that this year law enforcement will take an active role to catch and prosecute offenders.
“As we near the Fourth of July, we encourage folks to gather with friends and family, to have fun, watch fireworks displays, and/or take part in the use of safe fireworks. Safe fireworks are those which do not leave the ground. As always, there will be a temptation for some to discharge a firearm into the air,” said Fresno Police Chief, Jerry Dyer. “It is important to know the dangers associated with firing a gun into the air, and the potential loss of life that may result. Through the use of ShotSpotter technology we will once again be monitoring illegal gunfire, responding timely, and making arrests when necessary. We will also be following up after the fact on locations where gunfire was detected. Please be responsible and have a great Fourth of July.”
“Celebratory gunfire is not only reckless, but it is also illegal,” said Ralph A. Clark, ShotSpotter CEO and President. “A stray falling bullet can be just as dangerous as being shot directly. It poses a danger to innocent bystanders, including children. We think it is important to share some proven strategies that have worked to help cities across the country to reduce gunfire during these special holiday periods.”
ShotSpotter data shows that when law enforcement agencies implement steps to curtail celebratory gunfire, overall incidents have been reduced. Additionally, effective actions undertaken by law enforcement have included innovative policing strategies, community engagement and the deployment of ShotSpotter.
About ShotSpotter Inc.
ShotSpotter (NASDAQ: SSTI) provides precision-policing solutions for law enforcement to help deter gun violence and make cities, campuses and facilities safer. The company’s flagship product, ShotSpotter® Flex™, is the leading gunshot detection, location and forensic analysis system, and is trusted by 100 cities. ShotSpotter® Missions™ (formerly HunchLab) uses artificial intelligence-driven analysis to help strategically plan patrol missions and tactics for maximum crime deterrence. ShotSpotter has been designated a Great Place to Work® company.
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