GPD show off benefits of new ShotSpotter technology


    The new ShotSpotter program being used by Greenville Police is aimed at detecting gunshots in the city. (Morgan Newell, NewsChannel 12 photo)

    Greenville Police has new technology they say can detect shots fired about 30-45 seconds after it happens.

    Chief Mark Holtzman said there are many instances where a gun is fired in the city. However, only half of those incidents are reported. He hopes the ShotSpotter program can stop that. The technology goes to the officer's phone and alerts them to gunshots. ShotSpotter gives an estimated range of where the shots took place so officers can go there. It also provides audio, something Holtzman said will help officers know what they are going into.

    "Our goal is to reduce gun shots by at least 30 percent," Holtzman said. "Our goal is to reduce victims by at least 30 percent. And if my math is right that's about 17 or 18 less victims going to the hospital every year from Greenville if we're successful with this program."

    GPD held an exercise last week to test the technology. The controlled test consisted of gunshot sounds followed by validation of quality detection by ShotSpotter.

    Holtzman said the program costs about $200,000 but GPD was able to get grants through a joint effort from Vidant Medical Center, the Justice Department and the Pitt County Sheriff's Office.

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