The system has developed somewhat of a polarizing reputation. Some critics have raised privacy and “Big Brother” concerns; others question whether the technology creates false alarms that police waste time addressing. The Broward Sheriff’s Office previously ended a pilot program due to questions about cost, accuracy and efficacy — it didn’t help crack cases. Miami’s own data showed that only about one in four ShotSpotter alerts resulted in a documented crime scene after one year, findings that aren’t atypical.

Source: Gunfire sensors capture 8,280 bullets fired in one year in Miami neighborhoods | Miami Herald

Let’s put it this way: a 75% failure rate of its intended job. The article shows the results of three of the most crime-ridden areas of the City of Miami:  Liberty City, Little Haiti and Overtown. If you are familiar with the TV Show “The First 48” these names should be familiar.

spotshooter locations

But let’s waste money on electronic magical thinking rather than tackle the real socioeconomic problems of this areas.


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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

4 thoughts on “ShotSpotter still a crappy tool for crime detection.”
  1. Politicians seem to forget that doing hard things like raising children and improving economic opportunities are…ahem…HARD things to do. Sadly, most of the worthwhile “hard things” do not neatly fit into a single election cycle.

  2. And what I didn’t read (granted I skimmed) was weather the 25% of valid data collected was of any use at all.

    Boston has shot-spotter, and the only time I’ve read about the damn thing since it was installed was when it pinged the Mattapan Massacre.

    That attack was a full-on drug-war retaliation, with people being dragged naked into the street and shot. They wanted their competition dead, and they wanted the world to know what happens when you deal drugs on the wrong turf.

    Shot Spotter called the shots in…..but police were already en route because the frightened neighbors were calling 911.

    It was still days before they caught the killers. So what good did shot-spotter do? NOTHING! But at least it cost MILLIONS in tax monies.

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