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Cambridge, Somerville to get ShotSpotter technology

Cities including Cambridge and Somerville will join Boston in using a gunshot detection system known as ShotSpotter.

cambridge police cruiser boston A Cambridge police cruiser.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro file photo

A handful of police departments north of Boston are hoping a new tool in their crime fighting arsenal will help them locate and respond to shooting scenes faster.

Police departments in Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Revere and Somerville were recently awarded grants that will allow them to have a gunshot detection technology.

The technology, known as ShotSpotter, has been used in Boston for years. Multiple ShotSpotter sensors pinpoint the sound of a gunshot, which is then analyzed to rule out if it was another ambient sound. The location is then sent to the police departments in a process that usually takes about one minute.

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"We anticipate that this will be just as valuable as a public safety tool for the Cambridge police andhelp expedite our response in the event that there are gunshot incidents, which can result in potentially saving lives, increasing weapon-related arrests, and ultimately enhancing the safety of our neighborhoods," Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas said in a statement.

Cambridge police have been working to implement ShotSpotter for four years. The department was recently informed that a Department of Homeland Security grant was approved and will cover the cost of the technology for a two-year trial.

The technology will be deployed by June 30 in areas that have typically experienced the highest incidents of gunfire, Cambridge police said.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
 
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