A Third Ohio City Uses Technology to Track Gunfire in Real-Time

Aug 16, 2017

Credit ROB BYRON / SHUTTERSTOCK

A third Ohio city is adding a audio-surveillance system to track gunfire.

Cincinnati is rolling out ShotSpotter technology this month.

In 2010, Youngstown became the first Ohio city to install the system. Canton followed in 2013.

ShotSpotter uses microphones to detect and pinpoint the sound of gunshots, which then sends an alert to dispatchers.

University of Virginia researcher Jennifer Doleac says the technology can improve response times.


"If there’s a victim who needs to be transported to the emergency room, they could potentially save more lives that way. They might be able to either catch the person while they’re still on the scene, who fired the gun or (if they know) where the gun was fired, they are better able to collect evidence like shell casings.

She says there is no evidence the system could reduce gun violence and suggests cities should perform studies to see if ShotSpotter will benefit an area.

Canton police are still adjusting how to prioritize responses to gunshots detected by the system.