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ShotSpotter data shows the technology has saved lives

PITTSBURGH — According to data from 2019 and 2020 released by the city of Pittsburgh, the ShotSpotter system was the only reporting mechanism to first responders for 13 shooting victims over the past two years.

The system, which uses a network of acoustic sensors to detect when a gun is fired and pinpoint the location, pointed first responders to five victims in 2019 and eight in 2020, where no 911 calls were made.

Without the ShotSpotter notification, it is unknown when, if ever, first responders would have been notified and given the opportunity to provide life-saving care, according to the release.

In addition to these shootings where first responders were able to save lives, nearly 31% of all ShotSpotter notifications in 2020 were not accompanied by any 911 calls. This allowed police to recover critical evidence and guns that would have otherwise been missed, the release states.

The ShotSpotter system was piloted in Pittsburgh Police Zone 5 before being deployed citywide in 2018.