Riviera Beach getting system to detect gunfire

By Al Pefley - bioemail

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Riviera Beach is going ahead with a plan which police believe will make residents safer.

Wednesday night, the city council voted to spend a $300,000 federal grant on a gunfire detection system. The system is called the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location system.

Microphones or acoustic sensors placed atop buildings recognize the sound of gunshots, and can triangulate the exact latitude and longitude of where the shot came from, as well as the street address.

That information is sent instantaneously to police dispatchers, who can send officers to that address to check it out, and perhaps get there in time to catch the culprit or determine if there is someone wounded at that location who needs help.  The system can distinguish between firecrackers and gunshots, and can pinpoint the exact location of the gunfire to within 75 feet or less.

"This cutting-edge technology will help the department respond to reported incidents of gunfire in a quicker manner," said Riviera Beach Police Assistant Chief Danny Jones.

The city plans to install the ShotSpotter system in a one-square mile neighborhood of Riviera Beach between Silver Beach road and West 8th Street. They hope to have it up and running in 90 days.

Riviera Beach is the first city in Florida to install the system.  Other cities around the country are already using it.