D.C. police using GPS to fight crime

Posted on August 28, 2007 

D.C. police using GPS to fight crime

The Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI are using Global Positioning Systems technology to pinpoint the location of a gunshot to help save lives and fight crime. D.C. police said the “Shot Spotter” system wasn’t always as reliable as they’d hoped, but the technology was a valuable tool to reduce gun violence.

A network of sensors uses GPS satellites to triangulate the spot of a shot and then automatically notifies police.

In Charleston, S.C., the system helped solve a case by determining that 12 shots were fired from two gunmen moving in a vehicle traveling 9 mph, according to the company that developed the technology.

The FBI used similar technology to track the highway sniper in Maryland and Virginia several years ago, and in 2005 it started a pilot program to plant the sensors in D.C.’s high-crime areas.

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