Sunday, April 14, 2024

ShotSpotter, the new tech helping local law enforcement

Screenshot of the Newport News Police Department headquarters (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Google Maps)
Screenshot of the Newport News Police Department headquarters (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Google Maps)

NEWPORT NEWS — Police officials here said it would use ShotSpotter, an app to detect gunshots and alert police.

“It’s another tool in the toolbelt essentially,” said MPO Brandon Maynard, spokesman for the Newport News Police Department.

Maynard said Mayor McKingley Price learned about the app at a conference recently and told police Chief Steve Drew about it.

ShotSpotter uses sensors to detect gunfire and sends an alert within 60 seconds to police and dispatch centers, according to the department’s news release.

Maynard noted the sensors will be used primarily in the downtown and southeast area of the city and the department hasn’t started using the app but plans to in the next month or so.

“We honestly don’t know where the sensors are located,” he said.

How much does the technology cost?

“The cost for ShotSpotter is $275,000 and we are working with local businesses to form partnerships to help cover the cost,” Kim Lee, spokeswoman for the city, wrote in an email.

The Hampton Police Department is currently not using the app. However, Reggie Williams, spokesman for the department, has not ruled it out –– yet.

“We are exploring our options but we have not made any definitive decisions where with regard to what direction the division is going to go in,” he said.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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