Prior to the installation of ShotSpotter, nearly 80% of gun crime went unreported in Winston-Salem. The subsequent lack of police response left offenders at large to commit more crimes and eroded the community’s trust in law enforcement. To address the issue, the WSPD implemented SoundThinking’s ShotSpotter gunshot detection system in August 2021.
One year after ShotSpotter implementation, the WSPD reported that there had been 1,398 total ShotSpotter alerts, 78% of which did not have a corresponding 9-1-1 call for service. With ShotSpotter’s 99% detection rate, law enforcement can respond to calls faster and with greater situational awareness, provide emergency care to victims, and collect more evidence. The greater levels of responsiveness improve the community’s trust in law enforcement and strengthen relations between the police and the community.
In one recent success story, officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert outside a local high-rise apartment building. Working in tandem with a real-time crime center detective, law enforcement was able to apprehend an armed offender inside the building, avoiding an officer-involved shooting as well as any citizen injuries. In another incident, a ShotSpotter alert led law enforcement to a field where a gunshot wound victim was covered in blood. Attending officers were able to able to apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding until emergency medical support arrived. WSPD believe the swift response, thanks to ShotSpotter, saved the victim’s life.
Our mission is to provide exceptional service to our community in partnership with the citizens, and to me, two lives saved, 47 guns recovered, and a police response to 80% more of the [gun] crime is pretty exceptional.