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Chicago Police Testing New Gunshot-Detection Technology

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Police Department is giving gunshot detection technology another try.

WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the so-called "ShotSpotter" technology in three different square-mile areas, covering parts of the Englewood, Chicago Lawn, Harrison and Grand Crossing police districts.

"It can distill the difference between fireworks, backfires from vehicles, and things of the like – within seconds of the event occurring," McCarthy said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser Reports


Gunshot detection technology was tested previously in Chicago between 2003 and 2007, but was rejected as too expensive and ineffective.

"You know, that's a century in the technological world. They've improved it dramatically," McCarthy said. "It's very, very accurate. My understanding is it triangulates it to sometimes down to a foot, or three feet."

He said it's already been successful in several incidents.

"In these incidents, ShotSpotter successfully identified shots fired events, and effectively directed our officers before receiving 911 calls for service from the public," McCarthy said.

The $200,000 cost has been covered by forfeited assets.

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