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Denver Police to Calibrate Gunshot Detection System Monday

Residents and Visitors in Affected Areas may Hear the Controlled Gunfire Tests

Denver, CO – Sunday, August 25, 2019 – On Monday, August 26, 2019, between approximately 6:00 p.m. and midnight, the Denver Police Department (DPD) will conduct live-gunfire tests in downtown and west Denver to calibrate its gunshot detection system.

DPD’s gunshot detection system uses a network of acoustic sensors to detect when a gun is fired and then precisely and quickly pinpoints the location of the gunfire. In less than a minute, the vendor (ShotSpotter) notifies 911 dispatchers and patrol officers of the incidents. By quickly notifying police with precise information, the system helps to speed police response, has the potential to save the lives of shooting victims, increases weapons-related arrests, and enhances neighborhood safety. While this gunshot detection system is very effective, DPD still encourages the community to report sounds of gunfire.

The live-gunfire tests will consist of a sequence of gunshots followed by validation of sound detection by the system. During the tests, a bullet trap will be used to ensure public safety -- no bullets will be fired into the air or ground, and there is no danger to the public. DPD selected the hours of 6:00 p.m. to midnight for testing because most shootings and shots fired incidents occur at night and in the early morning hours, and acoustics are different at night.

In July of 2019, the City and County of Denver and DPD, in collaboration with the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, expanded the city’s gunshot detection system into downtown Denver, the fifth geographic area in the city to be served by the technology. This system expansion is part of DPD’s comprehensive gun violence reduction strategy.