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Cambridge Police Department to Conduct ShotSpotter Testing August 27th


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Live-Fire, Controlled Gunshot Testing Will Be Held at Multiple Locations in The Port & Inman/Harrington Neighborhoods

August 21, 2019 -- The Cambridge Police Department will be conducting live gunshot testing on Tuesday, August 27 between 8:30-10:30 p.m. in The Port and Wellington-Harrington neighborhoods to evaluate  improvements made to the city’s ShotSpotter gun detection service.  The controlled testing is being conducted for sensor calibrations, quality of gunshot detection and validation analysis purposes. There is no danger to the public and residents should not be alarmed. 

Cambridge Police Officers will be onsite at three test locations. The tests will consist of a sequence of gunshot sounds followed by validation of quality detection by ShotSpotter. No bullets will be fired into the air during the testing and a robust safety backdrop will be utilized. There is no danger to anyone in the testing areas, which will be held in cordoned-off areas away from the public. 

How ShotSpotter Works

If a gun is fired, the sound of the explosion radiates out from the point of origin.  As a result of this sound, multiple ShotSpotter sensors throughout a defined coverage area are triggered. The data is transmitted to SST Operations (the company that installs and maintains the sensors), where the data is analyzed to determine whether it was actually a gunshot, rather than some other ambient noise. If confirmed as gunfire, the SST analysts will pinpoint the origin of the gunfire. Coordinates of the origin of the gunshot(s) are transmitted simultaneously to the Emergency Communications Center and the laptop computers in patrol vehicles. The time of locating a gunshot, which typically takes anywhere between 10-20 minutes, is generally less than one minute with ShotSpotter.

For more information on the testing or ShotSpotter, please contact the Cambridge Police Department at 617-349-3237 or You can also visit, follow the Cambridge Police on Twitter or like the Cambridge Police on Facebook


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Branville G. Bard, Jr.
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