CMPD Expands Gunshot Detection System

May 14, 2013

Charlotte police are rapidly expanding their use of technology to detect and locate gunshots in real-time.

The "ShotSpotter" system debuted in Uptown Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention and was expanded to the Grier Heights community in March. It uses a system of microphones to detect gunfire and notify police.

On Monday night, the Charlotte City Council approved $140,000 to extend CMPD's contract with ShotSpotter in the Central District and install it in another neighborhood struggling with violent crime: Albemarle Road and Farm Pond Road.  

Major Steve Willis says ShotSpotter helped CMPD officers responded to eight incidents during March and April, including one in Grier Heights where nobody called 911, "Which is important when you consider this system."

"In challenged communities, you may not receive your 911 calls," says Willis. "(ShotSpotter) gives us that alert technologically and officers can respond independent of calls for service."

Willis says ShotSpotter has helped CMPD corroborate evidence in several other cases and led to one arrest.  Officers have found the technology able to accurately pinpoint the location of a gunshot within 25 meters.