Rocky Mount Police Zero In on Gunshots

Sep 23, 2011

Police in Rocky Mount are using acoustic sensors to detect the sound of gunshots and find the location of the shooter. Sergeant Kevin Bern says the system called "ShotSpotter" uses four sensors strategically placed throughout the city.

Sgt. Kevin Bern: "It works somewhat like the triangulation does for a GPS system, that when a shot goes off, if two or more of the sensors hear it, it can pretty much give you a, not exact, but pretty close pinpoint on where the shot came from. And if somebody's moving while they're shooting, it will also tell you the direction they're moving."
Bern says that information allows officers to be quicker and safer in their response. The U.S. Justice Department awarded Rocky Mount a $350,000 grant to use the sensors. The City Council added $12,000 to expand coverage to a three-mile radius. Police in Wilmington are also working to install the SpotSpotter system.