DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton police have announced officers will conduct live-fire testing Tuesday night of new technology that detects gunshots.
According to police, ShotSpotter sensors are being installed in a three-square-mile area around the North Main Street corridor, the area of the city that has the most calls for shots fired.
The devices use acoustic sensors to listen only for gunshots and alert authorities whenever they hear shots being fired, according to Lt. Jason Hall of the Dayton Police Department.
The sensors will allow officers to respond to incidents more quickly and hopefully help reduce gun violence, police have said.
“We’re trying to revitalize this area,” said Keith Jenkins, who runs an HR consulting firm, The Oniru Group, on North Main Street in Dayton. “We’re bringing our clients here. We want our clients to feel safe.”
Before his business opened in its current location nearly a year ago, crews had to replace windows and make other repairs due to bullet holes, Jenkins said.
He believes security cameras outside his business and others have helped reduce crime, and he is hopeful ShotSpotter will have the same impact, he added.
“We just want the police here when we need them,” Jenkins said. “So if there’s technology to help them get here more quickly, we all want that.”
Once a sensor detects a gunshot, the device sends a recording of that sound to workers at ShotSpotter. They verify it’s the sound of gunfire and send an alert to police with location information in less than 60 seconds, police said.
Before the technology goes live later this month, the Dayton Police Department will conduct live-fire testing this week to ensure their ShotSpotter system is working correctly.
In the evening hours of December 3, some residents in the North Main Street and Salem Avenue areas will hear gunfire as part of this testing, police said.
You should still call 911 if you hear gunshots, during and outside of the testing period, Lt. Hall said.
“We highly encourage all citizens to report gunfire to the police and not to assume that the technology is just going to automatically take care of it,” Lt. Hall said.
The testing will occur Tuesday night in three locations. Each area will be blocked off to the public, and police will also be going door-to-door to notify neighbors who may be affected, according to authorities.
City officials stress that the tests will pose no danger to the public, as no bullets will be shot into any open area.
“Citizen, officer and property safety are our first priority, and every precaution is being taken to have a successful live-fire test,” the city of Dayton says in a release.
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