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Technology tracks sound of gunshots goes live in Tampa, hopes to track crime

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 05:57:30-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- A technology used to track the sound of gunfire in hopes of responding to a scene or a gun shot victim quicker is now live in Tampa.

On Friday, at 11 a.m., the ShotSpotter technology was turned on to help the department track the sound waves of gun shots.

The technology will help officers determine if a there is shooting, and will help respond to an area in case a 911 call is not made.

Tampa police has sensors hidden in the city in an undisclosed location. The areas remain anonymous to protect the crime-fighting technology.

If a gun shot is detected, the location of the sound alerts officers on the streets and dispatchers instantly. The hope is to help respond quicker to the shooting, and to a possible gunshot victim.

Captain Paul Luscyski said the department is not listening to people or their conversations.

"There is no surveillance involved with the gunshot detection," he said.

Luscyski, a veteran on the force for 29 years said it's frustrating to hear gunshots but not able to find them.

"I’ve heard shots fired but I have no idea where they’re coming from because I'm inside the car." Luscyski said.

Advocates like Reva Iman in the Robles Park community say they applaud the City of Tampa in bringing ShotSpotter to Tampa.

Iman, who is with Organize Florida, is dedicated to bringing communities together.

She lives in the crime-ridden area and said she can hear gunshots often.

"You would never understand it until you’re really just over here in this area," she said. "It’s a constant fear."

Although we don't know if the technology is being used inside Robles Park, or near it, Iman applauds the city.

As of now, the police department has a two-year grant for the program and they are exploring other options.

Luscyski said the department is looking to expand it by looking into a grant that would purchase 30 cameras that would actually pan to where a shooting is in the deployment area.