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NYPD set to launch a pilot project for gunfire detection

NYPD commissioner, Bill Bratton at 2014 police graduation ceremony
NYPD commissioner, Bill Bratton at 2014 police graduation ceremony
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

In a concerted effort to reduce the incidents of shootings in the City of New York, the Police department is launching a pilot project in that direction.

To acquire the technology, the NYPD is collaborating with ShotSpotter Inc., a California based company to install devices capable of determining location of gunshots.

Bill Bratton, the NYPD commissioner, had earlier described the system as “Extraordinarily effective,” and that “the best systems are those that you can tie in with your camera systems. You not only get recording of the gunshots, but you get the camera activation right away.”

The gadgets are expected to be installed on rooftops of designated buildings and other high locations throughout the City of New York.

According to the contract notice, “The proposed system would use specifically placed microphones to pinpoint, in seconds, the precise location of gunfire within the coverage areas.”

For effect, “the purpose of the system is to both detect and deter gunfire activity, including drug-related and celebratory gunfire that may terrorized communities or end in tragic deaths.”

The program, costing the City about $500,000 is seen by Vanessa Gibson, the City Council’s public safety committee chair as “the type of new and innovative technology that can be instrumental in aiding efforts to reduce the number of shootings and save lives in communities that have been hot spots of gun violence.”

The success of the proposed pilot project will prompt the NYPD to seek a competitive bidding process for a bigger and more elaborate detection system.

Reported cases of shootings in the city have gone up to 562 as at July 6 this year compared to that of same period last year at 514. However, murders in 2013 stood at 169 to 153 this year.

Metropolitan security experts are unanimous in their submissions that the NYPD is moving in the right direction towards curbing the incidents of violent gunshots in the city, a promise Mayor Bill de Blasio made during his campaign seeking election for the city mayor.

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