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NYPD Plans Pilot Program to Detect Gunfire

Amid a recent spike in shootings in New York City, police officials plan to turn to technology to help them track down gunfire.

The NYPD on Monday announced a pilot program with SST Inc. in which ShotSpotter rooftop sensors will be installed throughout the city to detect gunfire, according to Capital New York.

The two-year demonstration project will cover up to 15 square miles and the devices will be mounted on rooftops and other high locations throughout the city.

"The proposed system would use specifically placed microphones to pinpoint, in seconds, the precise location of gunfire within the coverage areas. The system will also include an adjudication capability in which analysts will listen to each recorded alert and screen out false positives, such as fireworks," a contract notice stated. "The purpose of the system is to both detect and to deter gunfire activity, including drug-related and 'celebratory' gunfire that may terrorize communities or end in tragic deaths."

The program will cost the city $1.5 million, which is already in the NYPD's Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

If the system proves successful, the department will proceed with a competitive bidding process for a larger-scale detection system.