In Detroit, a city with one of the highest rates of violent gun crime in the US, law enforcement enlisted ShotSpotter technology to help make the community safer. In October 2022, Detroit Police Department (DPD) credited ShotSpotter with a 27 percent reduction in fatal shootings and a 43 percent decline in shots fired since launching the program in 2020. More recently, the department reported a 34 percent decrease in Part 1 violent crimes in the 8th Precinct. In the 9th Precinct, there was a 53 percent reduction in Part 1 violent crimes.
DETROIT COMMUNITY VOICES: COMMITTEE MEETING
The vice president of a Detroit neighborhood block club said, “I’m in 100 percent support of ShotSpotter, even if no one calls [9-1-1], at least the police will be notified.” He continued, saying: “One of the elements that I think it will combat is when people see crime or hear crime, whether it’s due to culture or fear, they won’t call the police.” This is a sentiment that Police Chief James White later qualified, stating that: “Only 10 percent of #ShotSpotter events have a 9-1-1 call associated with them.” The vice president of the block club also stated that police should be notified when someone is shot, and that he hopes his generation will be less fearful of speaking to police.
The results observed in 2022, during ShotSpotter deployment in the city of Detroit.
Reduction in fatal shootings
Reduction of shots fired
In September 2022, news reports stated that ShotSpotter led police to a location at the junction of Hazelridge and Chalmers where they found a deceased victim with multiple gunshot wounds. There were no 9-1-1 calls from people in the area who may have seen or heard something, once again marking the importance of ShotSpotter alerts.
The DPD is increasing their use of ShotSpotter to combat gun crime and identify shootings that would not be known to them otherwise. They intend to expand the coverage to an area seven times larger than its current scope.
I do not want our kids in this community growing up to think [gun violence] is normal... This technology is needed and necessary if we are to make safety a priority in our communities and in our city.