City of East Palo Alto Gets New ShotSpotter Crime-Fighting Technology

Partners With ShotSpotter to Test New Gunshot Location System Features


It's technology against crime thanks to a new partnership between the East Palo Alto Police Department and ShotSpotter, Inc.

ShotSpotter and the East Palo Alto Police Department have reached an agreement that will install the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System (GLS) in two phases covering an area of over two square miles. Enclosing half a square mile, phase one will be used as testing grounds for the company's new software and hardware. Phase two is slated to complete the coverage required by the City. Both phases will work to provide GLS crime reduction cover for the City.

The partnership, in development for nearly a year, is being funded by several crime reduction grants secured by the City.

East Palo Alto Police Chief Ronald Davis is confident that ShotSpotter's GLS technology will be effective in the fight against gun-related crime, resulting in, "dramatic reductions in violence in our City."

In addition to providing real-time notification of gunshot events, including precise event data, ShotSpotter captures evidence that can be used later for detailed forensic and intelligence analysis for arrest and prosecution. This can include weapon type and direction of fire analysis, as well as information on shooter's locations and drive-by shooters on the move. As part of the project, the ShotSpotter GLS will interoperate with cameras and surveillance systems, crime analysis tools and other dispatching technologies.

"The use of ShotSpotter technology will enable officers to respond to gunshot calls within seconds and respond to exact locations versus general areas," said Chief Davis. "This will dramatically increase the officers' ability to arrest the suspect, recover firearms, and provide aide to gunshot victims."

According to Douglas McFarlin, ShotSpotter Vice President of Engineering, the City was selected for its proximity to the company's new headquarters in Mountain View, California.

"Having an engineering test system installed in a nearby community will help shorten the time to perform product beta testing and enable ShotSpotter to bring fully qualified products and new capabilities to market faster. At the same time, we are helping East Palo Alto by providing a technology that has proven effective in reducing unlawful gunfire in many other cities across the United States," said McFarlin.

The East Palo Alto (EPA) Safety Committee, a grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to exploring public safety and quality of life enhancements in the city, was instrumental in fostering the partnership.

According to a written statement released by committee member Letticia Rayson, the organization, "is happy to endorse the ShotSpotter system and its implementation in East Palo Alto." "ShotSpotter will prove a useful complement to the efforts of our officers and those of community organizations whose work is aimed at addressing the underlying societal causes of crime," said Rayson. "We are very excited about the system's potential and for the opportunity to have our City serve as a test site. We are grateful to our City Council and Chief of Police for their leadership and support of this initiative."

"I think it is a very good thing," said EPA Safety Committee member Soren Tirfing. "It will help the community by reducing the gunfire in that part of the City. It is a great start in getting the system for the entire City."

ShotSpotter has been delivering patented, state-of-the-art gunshot location and detection systems for over a decade and has operational systems in place in many cities across the nation today. Agencies using the ShotSpotter GLS have reported a 50% increase in gunfire-related arrests and a 30% drop in violent crime rates. A reduction in gunfire rates, up to 60% to 80%, has also been reported depending on system's location.

About ShotSpotter, Inc. (

Located in Mountain View, CA, ShotSpotter, Inc., is the world's leading developer of gunshot location systems and technology. Its flagship product currently protects the citizens of cities nationwide from Los Angeles, CA to Washington DC using a small number of inexpensive and easy-to-deploy sensors to detect and locate gunfire across large urban areas. The company also offers products to law enforcement, homeland security, and military markets.

The company's patented technology has consistently produced arrests and weapons confiscations nationwide and has helped reduce gunfire and crime rates in cities that deploy it. In 2004, its products assisted the FBI and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in identifying the convicted Columbus, Ohio highway sniper.

ShotSpotter was honored in 2000 for its technological vision and leadership, receiving the Computerworld Smithsonian Laureate Award, having been nominated by Microsoft Chairman William H. Gates. Its technology was added to the Smithsonian Museum's permanent collection in honor of the company's achievements.

Source: ShotSpotter, Inc.