ShotSpotter Stat Update

Filed under: Around Town,Code Enforcement,Crime,INVESTIGATIONS,News |

Many media outlets covering a press conference with new Police Commissioner Webber a few weeks ago stated “the ShotSpotter system detected gunfire 517 times in about three months”. One of those sources quoted Webber as saying” that’s more than five incidents a day in places like Huntington Station”. These statements are incorrect according to 2nd Precinct police officials. The Huntingtonian was contacted by the 2nd Precinct and they gave the following stats: The Huntingtonian has filed Foil requests to verify the information.

Police state:

  1. The actual number of activations from system start-up (Note-HT1) to April 1, 2012 was 507.
  2. The 507 activations is the total number from all the communities in the system – North Amityville, Wyandanch, Huntington Station, Brentwood and North Bellport.
  3. In Huntington Station, there have been 109 activations in the time period of December 2011 to April 1, 2012.
  4. The system recorded a large number of activations on the evening of 12/31/11 and early on 1/1/12. Most of these activations were determined to be fireworks. One activation, on 12/31/11 was from a firearm and an arrest was made that evening.
  5. Between January 2nd, 2012 and April 1st, 2012 there have been 37 system activations in Huntington Station.
  6. Seventeen (17) of these were classified as false (Note-HT2). This means the system activation was definitely determined to be from a factor other than a firearm (construction noise, fireworks, etc.).
  7. Twenty (20) activations have been classified as unsubstantiated, meaning, after investigation by responding officers; it could not be determined what caused the activation. (Note-HT3)
  8. There have been no confirmed firearm activations of the system since 12/31/11 in Huntington Station. (Note-HT4)

TheHuntingtonian Notes:
HT1=Shotspotter started somewhere around Dec 20th 2011, maybe a few days prior.
HT2=A false positive is common, upon startup with new systems. As they fine tune the software this declines.
HT3=37 activations in Huntington, 17 definite False positives, 20 confirmed but no outcome or police could find a shooter
HT4= Arrest Because of the technology/system made Dec 31, 2011

Police tell us that 21 activations 1 confirmed with arrest and 20 unconfirmed activations.

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3 Responses to ShotSpotter Stat Update

  1. Editors and reports of The Huntingtonioan, please do the following:
    – please indicate the media which erroneously reported the number of Shot Spotter incidents in Huntington Station. The citizenry of Huntington relies on local media for local issues. It would be important to know the media outlet and if I had to guess, I’m sure it’s the paper which has slandered other decent people in this town in the past.
    – can you tell us how much actual crime took place since Shot Spotter was installed?
    – can you tell us how much was spent on this project?
    – please summarize all those famous quotes the backers of this boondoggle made. Add it to the list of broken promises made about revitalizing Huntington Station.

    Equitas
    May 25, 2012 7:56 am at 7:56 am

  2. Since I am one of the original backers of this project, I would like to respond to Equitas.

    After a graduation party on July 6, 2009 shooting that ultimately closed Jack Abrams, I addressed the Town board on this specific issue. The technology is proven, and used in Afghanistan. It uses a combination of doppler acoustic technology, and digital signal processing to filter out fireworks and car backfires.

    Since we cannot go door to door and confiscate illegal weapons in the community, this gives the police a tool to make arrests when weapons are used. Notification in a squad car is usually under 30 seconds, with an exact location.

    As far as the cost, what is a life worth? The county approved this because of the issues we face.

    How about taking gun toting criminals off our streets? And without this technology, how would you approach solving the gun crime issues in Huntington Station and elsewhere?

    matt harris
    May 25, 2012 9:03 am at 9:03 am

  3. Matt – you of all people have been crying for proper code enforcement from long ago. Enforce the housing codes, take away the profit slumlords like Pius make, and that is the beginning. It’s in the news these days – sadly – but the Etan Patz disappearance is a good example of a change in tactics. In 1979, SoHo was an unsafe place. By changing the police tactics as well as a partnership for residential and commercial building development, the neighborhood was gentrified and is now considered an upscale neighborhood.

    So where’s that part of the plan for Huntington Station? Where’s the will of our politicians to do more than merely rely on statistics of a program to point to real improvement? Do you feel safer in the Station? Do you realize guns are all but banned in the UK and they have skyrocketing youth crime being committed with – knives!

    I fret about the cost because so much money has been wasted in the past, we will never know how much has really been spent and will be spent for this system and will it actually reduce crime.

    Equitas
    May 25, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am

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