Gunfire location system unveiled in Riviera Beach - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Gunfire location system unveiled in Riviera Beach

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Police in Riviera Beach showed off their new high tech system for locating gunfire -- called 'ShotSpotter'.

Only eight seconds after officers fired their test shots at Monroe Heights Park Wednesday afternoon, an alarm sounded on a computer monitoring screen inside the department's mobile command center. A few more seconds passed, and the street address appeared on the screen.

Police and city leaders believe the gunfire location system will help get officers to potentially violent crime scenes more quickly.

"The faster we respond to a gunshot situation will increase the probability of us saving lives," said Assistant Chief Danny Jones.

Same goes for making arrests. "We're notified often with the ShotSpotter system faster than a citizen could actually dial 911," said Jones.

And that's what happened late last month in Pompano Beach. Fast responding deputies arrested Eric Harris who was stopped while leaving the area. He was charged with carrying a loaded shot gun in a towel.

ShotSpotter sensors have been placed throughout a one-square mile area in Riviera Beach.  The computer system is programmed to differentiate between gunfire and other similar sounds.

Demster Thomas, who lives close to the park and was himself a victim of a firearm crime a few years ago, has high hopes for ShotSpotter. "It will work; it will," he said.

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