Sound Thinking
Law Enforcement

PUBLIC SAFETY SUCCESS STORY

Columbia PD Makes 39 Arrests, Confiscates 49 Guns in First Six Months of Program

City
COLUMBIA, SC
Population
133,451
Coverage Area
6 SQ. MI
Product Used
Soundthinking Product Logo
Customer Since
2019

SITUATION

Columbia, SC had double the national average of violent crime, and the city has struggled with an illegal gun issue. The community was desensitized to gun violence and was not calling in gunfire incidents to police on a regular basis.

RESULTS

In the first six months after installing SoundThinking’s ShotSpotter gunshot detection system in April 2019, police received 778 alerts that resulted in 205 separate crime scenes within an area of the city where 75% of gunshots went unreported. Columbia PD estimated officers responded to 150 scenes during that time that they would not have visited without ShotSpotter, resulting in 39 arrests and 49 guns confiscated.

1,000

Shell casings recovered from 205 crime scenes

75%

Of gunshots in the coverage area go unreported by residents

25%

Reduction in homicides compared to the same time a year ago

The ability of Columbia PD to respond to more gunshot scenes faster enables officers to collect better ballistic evidence that can help solve crimes as part of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). For example, an illegal gun acquired by an ATF agent during a sting operation in 2020 matched the ballistics of two separate firearm shootings that police responded to in 2019 based on ShotSpotter alerts. That helped investigators build a case after the gun was reported stolen.

How ShotSpotter Benefits Columbia Police Department
BUILD COMMUNITY TRUST
Demonstrates to residents who have felt abandoned or disenfranchised that Columbia PD will respond when shots are fired.
FEWER ILLEGAL GUNS
In the first six months of the program, Columbia PD seized 49 guns in a community where illegal firearms has long been a problem.
BETTER BALLISTIC ANALYTICS
The combination of ShotSpotter and the NIBIN imaging ballistics database has significantly increased the effectiveness of investigations.
VIOLENT CRIME DROPS
Police observed an immediate drop in violent crime within months of deploying ShotSpotter, and an overall reduction of 9% across all Part I Crimes.

To learn more about our SafetySmart Platform, scan the QR code or visit: soundthinking.com/safetysmart-platform

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