New Haven PD expand “shot spotter” to keep neighborhoods safer

New Haven Police Department headquarters (File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– New Haven police are expanding technology that helps them track down shootings and keep neighborhoods safer. It’s called “shot spotter” and it now covers three times as much of the Elm City.

They’re having the press conference about it Thursday, but this expansion actually went live two days ago. It’s just in time for the busy summer season when we usually say police could use some extra eyes on the streets. In this case, they’ve got some extra ears.

Shot spotter is a series of microphones around the city. They are connected to software that can tell the difference between a gunshot and, say a car backfire or fireworks. Within 45 seconds, police know there’s been a shot fired.

And here’s the best part…with multiple microphones all over the city, they can triangulate where the shot was fired. As long as the sound is picked up by at least three microphones, they can tell it was somewhere in the middle of those microphones.

By analyzing the small differences in when it was heard by each microphone, they can tell how far away it was from each, and you’ve got a precise location. That means police can find shooting suspects faster, and ambulance crews can get to shooting victims faster.

In 2009, they installed those mics in one and a half square miles of New Haven. As of this week, they now cover five square miles.

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