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Special Sensors Detected 40,000 Gunshots In D.C. Over Eight Years

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D.C. may have some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, but groundbreaking audio technology deployed by police shows how frequent gunfire is in the city.

According to the Washington Post, there have been nearly 40,000 separate incidents of gunfire documented by Shotspotter technology in D.C. over the past eight years.

Shotspotter is a network of 300-plus acoustic sensors that alert police when a shot is fired. The sensors can usually pinpoint it to a couple of yards of where the shooting took place. The sensors cover about one-third of D.C.

Police say the technology helps them get to the scene quickly and is useful because gunfire is not always reported by police, and it also allows them to know where potential battles are breaking out between gangs.

According to the Post analysis, Shotspotter recorded 9,000 incidents of gunfire in 2009, but that figure has dropped significantly in recent years.


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