Atlantic City’s gunshot detection system went live Saturday after a successful test Friday night that included alerts to two real shooting incidents.
ShotSpotter’s audio sensors were tested Friday night by the city’s SWAT team along with a company representative.
But shortly after 9 p.m., dispatch received a ShotSpotter notification that there were two gunshots in the 1600 block of Caspian Avenue, Sgt. Monica McMenamin said.
Lt. James Sarkos confirmed that was not part of the test. Patrol officers were dispatched and found two spent shell casings and a live round on Warren Webb Lane, an alley off that block, McMenamin said. There are no witnesses, suspects or victims at this time.
After the testing was completed by 11 p.m., dispatch was notified there was a single gunshot in the 1200 block of Arctic Avenue, McMenamin said. No casings were found at that location, but audio confirms both incidents were gunshots.
The two reports highlight the need for the system, McMenamin said, because no one called 911 in either incident.
In the earlier incident, Lt. Rudy Lushina and other officers canvassed the area and found that a passerby and several residents did hear shots but did not call police.
The city has had several incidents in which gunshots either were not reported, or reports came after both the suspect and victims had left the scene. This creates a problem for investigators, because it is then hard to find a crime scene.
ShotSpotter records one of three things, McMenamin explained: single gunshot, multiple gunshots or possible gunshots.
An activation of single or multiple gunshots means there is a 98 percent probability a gun has just been fired. Possible gunshots means a lower probability.
A few seconds delay in notification is possible in all incidents as they are vetted remotely by personnel trained to determine the difference between gunshots and other loud bangs, such as fireworks.
The delay reduces the chance of responding to a false report, McMenamin said.
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