ShotSpotter Coming To Huntington Station in May
By Rupert Deedes
Thanks to the strong support of Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney, and the funding secured by County Legislators Stephanie Bontempi (R-Centerport) and Manny Esteban (R-Dix Hills), the crime prevention tool ShotSpotter will be re-deployed to Huntington Station in four months.
The Second Precinct is preparing for the return of ShoitSpotter, which is a system of triangulated sound sensors that immediately locates exact location of the sound of gunfire, and deploys police to the location within seconds.
In addition to Huntington Station, several other communities in Suffolk County are getting ShotSpotter: Bellport, Coram, Mastic Beach, Shirley, Bay Shore, Brentwood, Central Islip, North Amityville, and Wyandanch. All those communities will install ShotSpotter by May this year, with public meetings being scheduled before the installation.
ShotSpotter's acoustic sensors help the police focus on the small area from which a shot could have been fired, at the same time that it accelerates reporting the shooting incident to squad cars in the area.
The statistics on ShotSpotter's effectiveness are startling:
Without ShotSpotter only 12% of gunfire incidents are reported; With ShotSpotter over 90% of gunfire incidents are reported;
Without ShotSpotter the average dispatch time is 4.5 minutes; With ShotSpotter it is less than 60 seconds.
Without Shotspotter, police arrive an average of 780 ft away from the gunfire crime scene; With ShotSpotter, police arrive within 82 ft from where the shots were fired.
Without ShotSpotter, only 50% of shell casings in homices are found; With ShotSpotter, over 89% of shell casings are found;
Without ShotSpotter the average time to get a victim into an ambulance is 10.3 minutes; With ShotSpotter, it is 6.8 minutes;
Suffolk County used ShotSpotter in the past, but the use of the technology was discontinued in 2018 because its effectiveness was questioned.
The technology has advanced significantly since then.The system now uses an app which sends the ShotSpotter notification straight to a squad car instead of calling a dispatcher. The app also provides the police officer in the squad car with a map -- and additional information, such as directions, number of shots, location, and the elevation of the shots.