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Hear gunshots? Colorado Springs Police testing gunshot detection system today

Posted at 6:48 AM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 09:06:14-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – You may hear a series of gunshots today in the Valley Hi, Park Hill, and Pikes Peak Park neighborhoods between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Don’t worry, it’s only a test.

The Colorado Springs Police Department is conducting a live-fire calibration of a new gunshot detection system. The test is completely controlled and the public is not in any kind of danger. The tests consist of a sequence of gunshots followed by a validation of sound detection by the system. During the tests, frangible bullets and a bullet trap will be used to ensure public safety and no bullets will be fired into the air or ground. Frangible bullets are designed to break up into smaller pieces upon contact with harder objects or surfaces.

Police say they’ve been provided with a unique opportunity that will help cut down on violent crimes in the community.

In partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Department of Defense, the Colorado Springs Police Department would be the first municipality to utilize this specific technology and equipment which was developed for urban use.  The system is mobile and it would allow officers to respond much faster to violence involving a gun.

On top of improved response times and more safety, there’s an added bonus here. As a result of this partnership, the City of Colorado Springs will not incur any expenses related to this investigative tool.

The gunshot detection system uses a network of acoustic sensors to detect when a gun is fired and then quickly pinpoints the location of the gunfire before notifying the CSPD. Police say they analyzed reported gun crimes in Colorado Springs and determined the area surrounding the Valley Hi neighborhood, near the intersection of Fountain Boulevard and Chelton Road, has the highest concentration of reported gunfire. Because of that information, that area was chosen for the initial installation and evaluation of the system.

Denver uses a similar system across the city. The “ShotSpotter” program started in 2015. They have four sensors in Denver’s highest crime areas. DPD says it has improved their ability to arrive on the scene of a violent crime much faster.

The Colorado Springs Police want the public to know that they should continue to call them whenever they hear gunshots nearby.