Bibb Sheriff’s Office provides update on ShotSpotter technology

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office is providing an update on the ShotSpotter technology that's been in place since February.
Bibb County Sheriff's Office

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is providing an update on the ShotSpotter technology that’s been in place since February.

The technology helps identify gunfire incidents and provides audio alerts when gunfire happens.

Sgt. Santel Smith with Crime Analysis says it’s helped deputies find shootings they may not have been able to find before.

“With ShotSpotter, it helps us go to that area within 300 meters,” Smith said. “We’re able to find either people injured or evidence of crime taking place.”

The sheriff’s office says it got 433 alerts in July.

ShotSpotters works by strategically placing acoustic sensors on buildings and lamp posts. Ron Teachman, Director of Public Safety Solutions with ShotSpotters, says the system can triangulate where gunfire happens. It can even differentiate between gunfire and other loud bangs.

“We differentiate by the machine classification,” he said. “There’s a filter in the machine. The algorithms filter out most of the noise, but then we send every probability to a human for review.”

Teachman says the technology also identifies how many shots were fired, if there’s more than one shooter, what kind of weapon is being used and if the shooter is moving.

“That gives law enforcement an accurate description as they’re being dispatched,” he said. “So you might want to send more law enforcement personnel if there’s multiple shooters with a full automatic.”

The ShotSpotter technology covers seven square miles. The sheriff’s office says it covers most of west and south Bibb County. They determined the coverage area by studying the last ten years of crimes that involved shootings. 

Smith says ShotSpotters also helps them cut down on response time. 

“We are in the area, and at some point we are going to capture those individuals,” Smith said. “We have made several arrests off ShotSpotter. because deputies were able to respond quickly enough to find individuals in possession of firearms who should not be in possession of firearms.”

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