Charlotte City Council is expected to discuss Monday evening whether to study or even install technology that can detect gunshots.
Council members plan to talk about the ShotSpotter Gunfire Detection System, which is being used by about 70 cities’ law enforcement agencies.
ShotSpotter uses sensors to detect gunfire, and officials of the California-based company says the sensors can tell the difference between gunfire and other loud noises.
A number of cities initially paid for the sensors and monitored the system themselves, but the newest trend is for municipalities to pay an annual subscription to have the sensors monitored in California. Personnel in California then contact local law enforcement with the location of the gunshots.
The cost is between $40,000 and $60,000 per square mile. Most of the major cities using ShotSpotter have installed it in high-crime areas. Among cities using it are Birmingham, Milwaukee, Oakland, Omaha, San Francisco and Washington, along with parts of Nassau County (Long Island). In North Carolina, Rocky Mount recently began using the system.
According to several published articles in recent months, law enforcement officials say they are pleased with the results.