New York City

LANDER: ShotSpotter tech sends NYPD on wild goose chases 87% of time

July 1, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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CITYWIDE — “SHOTSPOTTER” AUDITORY TECHNOLOGY — meant to alert law enforcement to gunfire — is sending police to investigate other loud sounds like car backfires and construction noise a whopping 87% of the time, according to an audit released on June 21 by NYC Comptroller Brad Lander. Lander said the city should decline to renew the contract when it expires in December 2024 without first conducting a more thorough performance evaluation — a recommendation NYPD rejected because there wasn’t enough time to conduct an audit. NYPD rejected three of the five recommendations made by Lander’s office, a response Lander called “disappointing.” NYPD has spent more than $45 million on ShotSpotter so far and is committed to spending a further $9 million before the end of its current contract.

Map showing precincts where ShotSpotter technology is employed. The dots represent actual gunfire incidents. Map courtesy of NYC Comptroller’s Office
Map showing precincts where ShotSpotter technology is employed. The dots represent actual gunfire incidents. Map courtesy of NYC Comptroller’s Office

Statistics provided by the Comptroller’s Office show that the borough of Brooklyn had the highest number of confirmed shootings during the study periods (2014 and 2022), followed by the Bronx.

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