Gunshot recognition technology up and running in Escambia County

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Gunshot recognition technology called ShotSpotter is up and running in Escambia County.

The technology uses audio sensors to determine where a gunshot is fired. The goal is to allow a quicker response by law enforcement.

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“In regards to a shooting, or an individual that’s injured every second counts,” Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said. “So the quicker we can respond the quicker we can provide aid to a victim but also the quicker we can apprehend a suspect.”

The technology will be used to detect shots in 3 square miles of the city and 3 square miles in the county.

The technology has been up and running in Escambia County for almost 3 weeks now, and Sheriff Chip Simmons said it’s already working.

So far, 28 shots have been detected. However, he said the majority of those shots have been things like target practice.

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“We had a situation where the ShotSpotter went off; we had deputies that were able to arrive and about two minutes, later we got our first 911 call,” Sheriff Simmons said.

The Pensacola Police Department said the technology will be running on their end next month.

ShotSpotter will be part of a real-time crime center where surveillance video gets sent directly to ECSO.

“If it were to go off, our analysts can also take a look at any cameras in the area, see if there might be a car fleeing, see if there might be some sort of response we can get to our deputies regarding a perimeter or an arrival,” Sheriff Simmons said.

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The real-time crime center is partially up and running. The sheriff hopes to have it fully operational by Jan. 1.

“Our hope is that people will not shoot at one another in anger,” Sheriff Simmons said. “Our hope is that people will say, ‘Hey, if I do this, there’s a very good chance that we’re gonna get caught.’ That’s what we want.”

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