The Village of Bellwood, outside Chicago, Ill., is among the latest to add gunshot detection capabilities to its municipal surveillance project.
The city already has a wireless surveillance camera network in place, and has contracted with systems integration firm Current Technologies Corporation (CTC) to add gunshot detection using the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System (GLS).
CTC called the addition of a gunshot location system "an ideal complement" to surveillance. The systems are designed to automatically detect gunshots and alert police of the location, thus aiding faster response. ShotSpotter says the system can even work with drive-by types of shootings and can provide some forensic details about the shots.
By coupling the gunshot detection system to the wireless cameras, Bellwood' police gain a unique upper hand, in that they have video of the scene that can give them vital information before they arrive on site.
The Bellwood Police Department previously issued a press release noting a 15 percent reduction in crime based on the addition of the city's surveillance system. The Village uses a Proxim Wireless Wi-Fi mesh network to connect its networked cameras.
Chicago itself has been using gunshot detection capabilities for some time now, and the city also has in place one of the more extensive municipal surveillance programs in the country, and has plans to expand the system to municipal transit systems, including mobile video in the bus system.