As part of its efforts to reduce illegal gun use, the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) is preparing to roll out a pilot of gunshot detection technology in two police precincts.

BCPD is working with ShotSpotter to pilot the gunshot detection technology in the Wilkens and Essex precincts. In a press release, BCPD explained that the technology uses acoustic sensors that instantly triangulate the sound of gunfire, pinpointing the number of shots fired and location. The technology is already in use within the city of Baltimore.

The police department cited studies that found that less than 20 percent of incidents involving a firearm discharge are reported to law enforcement. With the ShotSpotter technology, police will be notified within 60 seconds of gun violence occurring, allowing officers to respond quicker and more precisely. BCPD said alerts are sent by a trained acoustic expert who has reviewed the incident before the notification of law enforcement.

“I fully support this new technology,” Baltimore County Police Chief Robert McCullough said, “I believe it will be a valued resource in assisting the Baltimore County Police Department in combatting gun crime.”

Funding for the pilot program, which launched last week, comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs