(Click for full-size PDF version)
That map shows confirmed shots-fired incidents around the city so far this year. We obtained it from Mayor Ed Murray‘s office in connection with this afternoon’s announcement that the city is again seeking “acoustic gunshot detection.” This comes four years after his predecessor announced a plan to budget for a gunfire-detection system – a plan that never came to fruition. Back then, part of West Seattle was suggested as ripe for such a system; today’s announcement focused more on other areas of the city including South Park – you can see the map above includes clusters there and in North Delridge.
The mayor was joined by Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole in making the announcement on Gun Violence Awareness Day. The announcement also says he will “work with the Seattle City Council to require that all surplus firearms from the Seattle Police Department are only sold to other law enforcement agencies.”
Regarding the potential detection technology, the announcement says:
Gunshot locators actively listen for gunshots and detect the exact location where guns are fired. Unlike reports from nearby residents who may be uncertain, these systems’ advanced technology reliably report when and where the shots were fired. A video camera attached to the system is activated to capture the incident. Law enforcement authorities are notified immediately and a police officer can be dispatched to the vicinity without delay. …
A federal grant would pay for a pilot system, says the announcement, which you can read in its entirety here. It also says that while the number of confirmed shots-fired incidents to date this year is smaller than last year – 144 this year, 154 a year earlier – they’re deadlier, with five shooting deaths this year, two last year.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has issued a Request for Proposals to gather interest from potential contractors who could construct the system. The city says the system would be paid for with a federal grant.