Police say ShotSpotter system is working - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Police say ShotSpotter system is working

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police detectives say sensors that capture the sound and location of gunshots is successful.

ShotSpotter, a private company with contracts across the United States, installed the sensors in Charlotte in August 2012, a few weeks before the Democratic National Convention.

CMPD has sensors in the Uptown area, Hickory Grove Division and Grier Heights neighborhood. WBTV spoke with Grier Heights resident Dolores Guy, who says living in her neighborhood is not always easy.

"You can't get a pizza delivered to your house after dark out here, and it doesn't matter what part of Grier Heights you are in," she said.

Guy says she is relieved ShotSpotter is popping up around her neighborhood. The program instantly detects and pinpoints gunshots.

"You can direct an officer directly where that shot came from," said Major Johnny Jennings who oversees the program.

Jennings says the program is successful, and the money comes from federal grants.

"You can actually tell that officer that it came from the left rear corner of the house just around a wooded section," he said.

Jennings admits the technology doesn't always work perfectly, but says it improves over time.

"The longer you have the system, the more shots it's able to recognize, the more effective it is and the more accurate it is as well," he said.

WBTV obtained numbers from CMPD showing that since ShotSpotter came to Charlotte in 2012, it has picked up 585 shots around the city. To break down that number even more, police installed sensors in Uptown Charlotte first. Detectives have recorded 248 shots in almost 15 months in that part of town.

CMPD installed the sensors in Grier Heights back in February, and have detected 229 shots to date. In August 2013, police installed the sensors in the Hickory Grove Division in East Charlotte. They've reported 108 shots since the end of August in that part of town.

To learn more about ShotSpotter, click here.

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