New report shows NYPD responding to thousands of false alarms via ShotSpotter

The ShotSpotter program is set to renew in December, but Lander is suggesting the NYPD take a comprehensive look at the program beforehand.

Julia Joseph and Adolfo Carrion

Jun 25, 2024, 10:00 PM

Updated 27 days ago

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A new report has revealed that the NYPD is responding to thousands of false alarms per year.
The NYPD’s ShotSpotter technology is designed to decipher the sound of gunfire, alerting officers when shots are fired. However, a report conducted by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander suggests that the tool is failing New Yorkers.
"On average, 87% of the time, it is sending officers to incidents that don't turn out to be confirmed shootings,” said Lander.
The audit shows that in June 2023, NYPD officers spent nearly 430 hours investigating these ShotSpotter alerts that were never confirmed to be shootings.
"Solving gun crimes, confronting retail theft, and addressing issues of violence and disorder would be better use of officers time than responding to car backfires,” said Lander.
In the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville, approximately 2,000 sensors are placed in the area that’s seen an increase of over 110% in shootings compared to this time last year, according to city data.
The ShotSpotter program is set to renew in December, but Lander is suggesting the NYPD take a comprehensive look at the program beforehand.
The NYPD responded, saying in part that they will look into enhancing the technology’s performance but that a full-scale evaluation won’t be feasible to complete before the renewal period.


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