ShotSpotter sensors installed in north Sacramento County communities

Local News

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Gunshot detection technology was recently installed in two additional areas of Sacramento County where the sheriff’s office said gun violence has “plagued” the communities.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said ShotSpotter technology was deployed Tuesday in North Highlands in the area of Watt Avenue and Roseville Road, as well as the Arden-Arcade neighborhood around Howe Community Park.

The technology has already been used in some South Sacramento communities since 2018.

According to the sheriff’s office, while installing the technology in the new areas of north Sacramento County, ShotSpotter was activated 56 times and recorded what the sheriff’s office said was 146 rounds of gunfire.

But the system has recently come under fire on a national level. According to an investigation by the Associated Press, ShotSpotter not only misses live gunfire right under its microphones, but it also misclassifies the sounds of backfiring cars or fireworks as gunshots. It also found that forensic reports prepared by ShotSpotter’s employees have been used in court to improperly claim that a defendant shot at police, or provide questionable counts of the number of shots allegedly fired by defendants. Judges in a number of cases have thrown out the evidence.

ShotSpotter responded to the AP’s investigation, sayings its report was misleading.

The Associated Press article is misleading as ShotSpotter has a 97% accuracy rating, which has been confirmed by an independent firm, Edgeworth Analytics. Additionally, with regards to how sounds are classified, ShotSpotter uses a patented system of sensors and machine learning to detect, locate and classify gunfire. ShotSpotter rigorously trains and tests every individual reviewing gunfire alert at each Incident Review Center. Reviewers are only deployed if they are able to detect gunfire with 95% accuracy or higher and, in fact, most reviewers complete the program with an even higher level of accuracy. Police departments around the country know how accurate the technology is, which is why more than 110 cities trust ShotSpotter to help save lives, reduce gun violence, and make communities safer.

ShotSpotter evidence and ShotSpotter expert witness testimony have been successfully admitted in over 200 court cases in 20 states. ShotSpotter evidence has prevailed in 13 successful Frye challenges and one successful Daubert challenge throughout the United States. Our data compiled with our expert analysis help prosecutors make convictions.

ShotSpotter statement

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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