In response to an increase in violent crime within the City of Durham, Durham City Council approved the ShotSpotter pilot program as part of the fiscal year 2022-2023 budget. The pilot program will run for 12 continuous months with the first 3 months being free to the City of Durham. The remaining 9 months will cost $197,500. The Durham Police Department has been designated as the lead agency for design, implementation, and evaluation.
ShotSpotter is a "Gunfire Detection" technology that utilizes acoustic sensors, or microphones, that are placed in a designated area of deployment. The sensors are placed specifically on light poles, public buildings, or telephone poles. Once the sensors detect gunfire, this then begins the process of notifying the Durham Police Department. For more specifics on how the technology works in general, view the video in the "How Does ShotSpotter Work?" tab.
No. ShotSpotter is an acoustic-based system. While it may be integrated with video systems, the Durham Police Department nor the City of Durham will utilize ShotSpotter with cameras or similar devices.
Per the ShotSpotter website, the system is highly accurate at detecting outdoor gunshots. In 2019 the system had a 97% aggregate accuracy rate across all of ShotsSpotter customers including a very small false positive rate of less than 0.5% of all reported gunfire incidents. You can read the results of an independent audit by Edgeworth Analytics here
The Durham Police Department will also be partnering with Duke University to study the efficacy of the technology by studying the deployment area and an area of the city of similar size with similar call volume that does not deploy ShotSpotter. The Durham Police Department intends to regularly update this webpage with data regarding the department's usage.
This map of the coverage area depicts the ShotSpotter coverage area which includes a 3 square mile area in east and southeast Durham covered by Police Districts 1 and 4.The selection of the ShotSpotter coverage area was data-driven, based on known incidents of gunfire in the City of Durham during the period 2019-2021. Though it is only 2.7 percent of the City’s land mass, the coverage area had the highest concentration of gunfire events, including 33.9 percent of all incidents in which a person was shot. This will allow the greatest opportunity for evaluation, and is the most efficient use of the City’s investment, during the one-year pilot period.
DPD staff are in the process of reaching out to Partners Against Crime (PAC) groups and other community stakeholders in the affected areas in order to answer questions and address community concerns. As of 8/11/2022, the following Community Forums have been scheduled:
DISTRICT 1 PAC-- TBD
DISTRICT 2 PAC--(CANCELLED)Durham Police and ShotSpotter representatives will reschedule a community forum with District 2 Partners Against Crime (PAC). A time and location are still to be determined.
DISTRICT 3 PAC-- October 8, 2022 @ 9:30AM, Lyon Park Community & Recreation Center 1309 Halley Street, Durham, NC 27707
DISTRICT 4 & 5 PAC-- September 10, 2022 @ 10:30AM, Campus Hills Recreation Center, 2000 South Alston Avenue, Durham, NC 27701
MCDOUGALD TERRACE COMMUNITY-- September 26, 2022 @ 5:00PM
DURHAM BUSINESSES AGAINST CRIME (BAC)-- TBD
The current projected implementation of ShotSpotter is expected to occur in November 2022. This timeline is subject to change as the project develops.
The ShotSpotter pilot program was approved as part of the City of Durham’s fiscal year 2022-2023 budget. The pilot program will run for 12 months with the first 3 months being free to the City of Durham. The remaining 9 months will cost $197,500.
DPD’s Professional Standards Division is currently in the process of creating a policy that will govern DPD officers’ response to ShotSpotter activations. As a part of this process, DPD has reviewed policies from other jurisdictions where ShotSpotter has been implemented in order to assist in determining best practices. In August of 2022, the Durham Police Project team made a trip to Winston-Salem to learn how Winston-Salem Police utilize the technology.