WORCESTER – Since the city’s police department began using the gunshot detection system ShotSpotter in early 2014, there have been 325 incidents of gunfire detected. Before the system was put in place, Worcester Police officials said 80 percent of those incidents might have been missed.
The system has helped police identify the players involved in the violence in the city or areas where gang violence is occurring. Response times to gunshot calls have been drastically cut down compared to before when police would have to wait for someone to call 911.
From May of last year until the end of January the system detected 123 incidents, Police Captain Paul B. Saucier said. Out of those incidents, there were 29 calls to 911.
“If you do the math, 94 times we responded to those neighborhoods that needed it most, when we wouldn’t have if we didn’t have ShotSpotter,” Saucier said. “We wouldn’t even have known about the shots fired unless we had an officer nearby who heard it. These people aren’t calling the police for a reason. Number one they are afraid. They are afraid of what will happen and we have to give them some comfort that we are around.”