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Durham launches data dashboard for ShotSpotter system

A Durham police cruiser.
via Flickr
This 2019 file photo shows a parked Durham Dodge Charger police cruiser.

A new data dashboard tracks alerts issued by ShotSpotter, the gunshot detection network deployed in parts of East and Southeast Durham.

The system uses microphones to alert police of possible gunfire. From Dec. 15 to March 21, ShotSpotter published 349 alerts. 11 were false positives, while eight were false negatives — a gunshot incident incorrectly classified as non-gunfire.

According to the dashboard, there were nine reports of gunshot wounds tied to alerts. Three guns were recovered and five arrests were made based on alert data.

Durham Police say the dashboard is the first of its kind for any city using Shot Spotter. Data will be updated weekly.

Community activists and civil libertarians have pushed back on the technology in Durham and other cities. In February, ShotSpotter failed to detect two deadly shootings. In Fayetteville, residents raised concerns that the system unfairly targets Black and brown communities.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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