After six months of testing, the Stockton Police Department have been begun using the new Shot Spotter Flex technology to pick up the sound of gunshots and an approximate location from sensors that have been strategically placed across the city.
Sensors around Stockton record the sound bites and send the audio to the dispatch center in downtown Stockton along with the data of the general radius location. Each operator station is programmed with software that alerts staff and provides the data.
“Stockton police have prioritized the public safety and security of Stockton residents and visitors as a major initiative and have invested in the community by deploying the ShotSpotter Flex service as a key technology to support its work in combating gun violence,” a statement from the department said.
The system can tell the difference between actual gunshots and other similar sounds, such as fireworks, and the vendor company also monitors activity and imbeds messages in the incident reports if the sounds are most likely something other than gunshots.
“If we get additional calls from citizens, it will be supplemented into that call,” said communications supervisor Phillip Zimmerman. “Sometimes the citizens will call in first, and then we get the ShotSpotter.”
ShotSpotter Flex is the nation’s leading gunshot locator program, according to Stockton police, and it’s widely being used by law enforcement agencies to prevent gun violence and gun-related crime.
ShotSpotter is also being used in San Francisco and Oakland.