Traditional measures of gun violence
–homicides, shootings involving injury–
grossly underestimate the true scope
of daily gun violence in America.
Top 4 Findings

SST, Inc. aggregated the gunshot data from 47 cities
out of all those we monitor in the U.S.

NGI 47 Cities
  Top Finding #1

We reviewed and published 33,975 separate gunfire incidents in 2014.

That’s 1051 gunfire incidents per day, or 4.4 incidents every hour in just the portions of the 47 cities that contributed ShotSpotter data to this analysis.

That compares to more than 11,000
homicides committed with a firearm each year in the entire United States of America—30 per day, or 1.3 homicides every hour.

The scope and magnitude of gunfire in the U.S. is much greater than that which is measured only in terms of homicides and gunshot wounds.


 
143/Day
6/Hour




26/sqmi
143/sqmi
720/sqmi

  Top Finding #2

In 2014, the rate of gunfire2 in areas where ShotSpotter was deployed varied widely:

Minimum: 32 incidents per square mile
Median: 150 incidents per square mile
Maximum: 697 incidents per square mile


Minimum, Median and Maximum rates of gunfire incidents per square mile
in our 2014 Analysis.
 
    There were 3.5 rounds in the average gunfire incident in 2014. The ShotSpotter alert on this incident Tuesday, January 27, 2015 just after 7:30 AM EST, enabled police to interview witnesses and collect evidence (shell casings).

Here’s what a 4-round incident sounds like:






Top Finding #3

Gunfire is down in the cities we were able to compare 2013 to 2014.

We did a comparative analysis on a sample area of 28 cities across the U.S. that had consistent ShotSpotter coverage in both 2013 and 20143.

That analysis revealed 23,683 confirmed gunshot incidents in 2013 and 19,443 in 2014 in the exact same sample area, showing that illegal gunfire has dropped significantly in ShotSpotter-covered areas.

 
2013
2014




28.8%
  Top Finding #4

In our sample of 28 cities where ShotSpotter was deployed,
the median reduction in gunfire rates in 2014 was 28.8%.

93% or 26 of the 28 cities saw reductions in their rates of gunfire4,
43% or 12 of the 28 cities saw reductions greater than 30%,
25% or 7 of the 28 cities saw reductions greater than 40%.






Gunfire Summary 2014

The 2014 Gunfire Summary is based on gunfire data aggregated from 47 cities across the U.S. that had ShotSpotter Flex deployed for more than 4/5 of the year.

SST reviewed, classified and published
33,975 separate gunfire incidents
in the 47 cities analyzed here,
consisting of 117,161 rounds.

Most intense day:
October 25: 226 incidents in total, 49 in one city.

Single busiest hour for an individual community:
2013
November 14: at 1:00 AM (15 incidents of gunfire)

  Single Gunshot Multiple Gunshots Possible Gunfire
Most dangerous hour of the week in aggregate:
Friday 2:00 AM – 3:00 AM (803 incidents)

Worst month for any individual community:
January, 60.6 incidents/sq mi
(726.7 annualized)


2013




Gunfire Comparison
of 2013 and 2014


28 Cities
  That comparison revealed 23,683 and 19,443 confirmed gunshot incidents (respectively), showing significant gunfire declines in the SST/ShotSpotter-covered areas of these cities.

A representative sample of twenty-eight cities where ShotSpotter® FlexSM was deployed during both years was used in this analysis.





The 28 cities in our sample covered a total of 102.8 square miles.
Only cities that had ShotSpotter Flex deployed for more than 4/5 of the year were included in this analysis.
If a city’s contracted coverage area expanded in 2014, the expanded area was not included in this comparison data.





Illegal gunfire has dropped significantly.

We did a comparative analysis, 2013 vs. 2014, on a sample area of 28 cities across the U.S. that had consistent ShotSpotter coverage in both years.

That ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison revealed 23,683 and 19,443 confirmed gunshot incidents (respectively), that illegal gunfire has dropped significantly in ShotSpotter-covered areas.


 
23683-19443



Gunfire rates have decreased significantly in almost all ShotSpotter cities.

Twenty six of the ShotSpotter cities in the 2014 to 2013 comparison saw reductions in gunfire.

Only two of the 28 cities saw increases.

On a city-by-city basis,
median reduction was 28.8%.

Gunfire rates (incidents per mile) decreased between 4% and 58% in 2014 in those 26 ShotSpotter cities.


 
26 of 28
2014



2013
2014


Gunfire incidents per square mile.
  Gunfire rates have decreased significantly on a per square mile basis, in most regions.

The median number of gunfire incidents dropped from 186 gunfire incidents per square mile in 2013 to 150 gunfire incidents per square mile in 20145.

The gunfire incident rates per square mile decreased in every region of the country except for the Caribbean.*

*The Caribbean numbers only include St. Thomas and St. Croix (USVI). The San Juan (PR) system went live in May 2013, and so was not operational long enough in 2013 to be included in this year-on-year comparison. However, an SST analysis revealed a 66% reduction in San Juan gunfire activity between May 2013 and November 2014. On December 16, 2014, Puerto Rico Governor Padilla announced the gunfire reduction, a corresponding 46% reduction in homicides within the ShotSpotter coverage areas, a reduction in police response times from 18-22 minutes to 3 minutes, and his plans to expand the ShotSpotter program in Puerto Rico.

The most significant percentage decrease was seen in the Northeast, where ShotSpotter also has the largest coverage area.




The average number of rounds fired per incident increased across the country.

The number of rounds fired per incident increased in every region of the country.

The 2013 average was 3.0 rounds per incident, while the 2014 average increased to 3.5 rounds per incident.


 
2013
2014



28 Cities
  Gunfire remains mostly concentrated on the weekends.

Almost 40% of gunfire in each year takes place on weekends.

(Note: A weekend is 6:00AM Friday morning – 5:59AM Sunday morning).
Perspectives
  • Intelligence-based Policing to Safeguard our Community.

    The Oakland Police Department is committed to reducing violent crime in our community. Protecting human life is our number one priority. The people of Oakland deserve to live in a city free from the constant threat of gun violence. We are dedicated to utilizing intelligence-based and effective policing strategies to create a safer Oakland.

    -26.1%
    • Police Chief Sean Whent
    • Oakland, CA
  • The Importance of Community Engagement.

    ShotSpotter alerts, which come in with precise location information, enable us to put officers on the scene quickly. Knowing the exact address where the gun was fired enables us to survey that neighborhood—we can knock on doors, check on residents, we can find out if anyone needs help.

    Ron Teachman
    • Police Chief Ron Teachman
    • South Bend, IN
  • Preventing Gun Violence.

    ShotSpotter, as a key part of our approach to gun crime prevention, enables dispatchers to locate a call for service and dispatch the nearest officer, decreasing our response times, while supporting officer safety. We are committed to using all available resources to ensure the safety of every citizen.

    -39.8%
    • Carl Riley
    • Director of Public Safety & Police
      Plainfield, NJ
  • Aggressive “Best Practices” Help Reduce Crime, Prevent Gun Violence.

    We’ve implemented aggressive ‘best practices’ in an effort to provide public safety and to contribute to the quality of life for the citizens of the City of Springfield. We aim to establish a partnership between our citizens and police to enhance law enforcement, aid in the prevention of crime, and preserve the public peace.

    -51.2%
    • Police Commissioner John Barbieri
    • Springfield, MA
  • Gun Violence is a Public Health Issue.

    For four years in a row, the number of homicides in New Haven has been steadily declining, from 34 in 2011 to 12 in 2014. That’s a pretty dramatic steady decline in crime from 2011 to last year.
    Surely there is more than one reason, but ShotSpotter was an important part of the overall approach that enables us to save lives in New Haven.

    Dean Esserman
    • Chief Dean Esserman
    • New Haven, CT
  • Integrating Technology to Ensure Citizens are Safe and Secure.

    Our strategy is a combination of engaging with our community and leveraging technology. We’ve seen a sharp drop in violent crimes since 2012 which is significant progress. We haven’t ‘crossed the goal line’ just yet, but I’m optimistic about the future.

    -48%
    • Metro Chief Scott Thomson
    • Camden, NJ
  • Proactive Community Policing reduces Violence and Random Gunfire.

    Although no single effort can be credited with reducing violence and random gunfire in East Palo Alto, we believe that a focused effort by the community and the police department using ShotSpotter data to make informed decisions were essential elements to the success in East Palo Alto.

    -29%
    • Chief Albert Pardini
    • East Palo Alto, CA
  • Caring for our Community through Gun Crime Deterrence.

    As part of our efforts to reduce violent crime, especially relating to gun violence, ShotSpotter is used as a resource to deploy officers to locations of reported gunfire. Many times, officers arrive within minutes of a shooting, locate a victim, and are able to render aid until paramedics arrive; saving lives through advanced technology. In some incidents, due to a quick response, suspects are still on scene or within a short distance of the crime, and officers have made notable arrests.

    Greg Suhr
    • Police Chief Greg Suhr
    • San Francisco, CA
See all
  • Intelligence-based Policing to Safeguard our Community.

    The Oakland Police Department is committed to reducing violent crime in our community. Protecting human life is our number one priority. The people of Oakland deserve to live in a city free from the constant threat of gun violence. We are dedicated to utilizing intelligence-based and effective policing strategies to create a safer Oakland.

    -26.1%
    • Police Chief Sean Whent
    • Oakland, CA
  • The Importance of Community Engagement.

    ShotSpotter alerts, which come in with precise location information, enable us to put officers on the scene quickly. Knowing the exact address where the gun was fired enables us to survey that neighborhood–we can knock on doors, check on residents, we can find out if anyone needs help.

    Ron Teachman
    • Police Chief Ron Teachman
    • South Bend, IN
  • Preventing Gun Violence.

    ShotSpotter, as a key part of our approach to gun crime prevention, enables dispatchers to locate a call for service and dispatch the nearest officer, decreasing our response times, while supporting officer safety. We are committed to using all available resources to ensure the safety of every citizen.

    -39.8%
    • Carl Riley
    • Director of Public Safety & Police
      Plainfield, NJ
  • Aggressive “Best Practices” Help Reduce Crime, Prevent Gun Violence.

    We’ve implemented aggressive ‘best practices’ in an effort to provide public safety and to contribute to the quality of life for the citizens of the City of Springfield. We aim to establish a partnership between our citizens and police to enhance law enforcement, aid in the prevention of crime, and preserve the public peace.

    -51.2%
    • Police Commissioner
      John Barbieri
    • Springfield, MA
  • Gun Violence is a Public Health Issue.

    For four years in a row, the number of homicides in New Haven has been steadily declining, from 34 in 2011 to 12 in 2014. That’s a pretty dramatic steady decline in crime from 2011 to last year.
    Surely there is more than one reason, but ShotSpotter was an important part of the overall approach that enables us to save lives in New Haven.

    Dean Esserman
    • Chief Dean Esserman
    • New Haven, CT
  • Integrating Technology to Ensure Citizens are Safe and Secure.

    Our strategy is a combination of engaging with our community and leveraging technology. We’ve seen a sharp drop in violent crimes since 2012 which is significant progress. We haven’t ‘crossed the goal line’ just yet, but I’m optimistic about the future.

    -48%
    • Metro Chief Scott Thomson
    • Camden, NJ
  • Proactive Community Policing reduces Violence and Random Gunfire.

    Although no single effort can be credited with reducing violence and random gunfire in East Palo Alto, we believe that a focused effort by the community and the police department using ShotSpotter data to make informed decisions were essential elements to the success in East Palo Alto.

    -29%
    • Chief Albert Pardini
    • East Palo Alto, CA
  • Caring for our Community through Gun Crime Deterrence.

    As part of our efforts to reduce violent crime, especially relating to gun violence, ShotSpotter is used as a resource to deploy officers to locations of reported gunfire. Many times, officers arrive within minutes of a shooting, locate a victim, and are able to render aid until paramedics arrive; saving lives through advanced technology. In some incidents, due to a quick response, suspects are still on scene or within a short distance of the crime, and officers have made notable arrests.

    Greg Suhr
    • Police Chief Greg Suhr
    • San Francisco, CA
Close
Cities

Cities in the SST, Inc. National Gunfire Index

SST’s 2014 gunfire summary is based on the following superset of 47 cities:

Amityville, NY
Atlantic City, NJ
Baton Rouge, LA
Bell Gardens, CA
Belle Glade, FL
Bellport, NY
Brentwood, NY
Brockton, MA
Camden, NJ
Canton, OH
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
East Chicago, IN
East Palo Alto, CA
Fall River, MA
Hartford, CT
  Northeast
Northeast
South
West
South
Northeast
Northeast
Northeast
Northeast
Midwest
South
Midwest
Midwest
West
Northeast
Northeast
Hempstead, NY
Huntington Station, NY
Jackson, MS
Kansas City, MO
Miami Gardens, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis, MN
New Bedford, MA
New Haven, CT
Oakland, CA
Omaha, NE
Paterson, NJ
Peoria, IL
Plainfield, NJ
Quincy, WA
Richmond, CA
  Northeast
Northeast
South
Midwest
South
Midwest
Midwest
Northeast
Northeast
West
Midwest
Northeast
Midwest
Northeast
West
West
Riviera Beach, FL
Rochester, NY
Rocky Mount, NC
San Francisco, CA
San Juan, PR
San Pablo, CA
South Bend, IN
Springfield, MA
St. Croix, USVI
St. Louis, MO
St. Thomas, USVI
Stockton, CA
Wilmington, NC
Wyandanch, NY
Yonkers, NY
  South
Northeast
South
West
Caribbean
West
Midwest
Northeast
Caribbean
Midwest
Caribbean
West
South
Northeast
Northeast


At year end, ShotSpotter captured gunshot data on 215 square miles across America.



Sample Cities Used in Comparison of 2013 and 2014

When comparing 2013 gunfire data to 2014 gunfire data, twenty-eight (28) cities where ShotSpotter Flex was deployed during both years were used in this analysis6+7. The 28 cities that make up the “apples to apples” comparison are:

Bellport, NY
Brentwood, NY
Brockton, MA
Camden, NJ
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
East Palo Alto, CA
Fall River, MA
Hartford, CT
Hempstead, NY
  Northeast
Northeast
Northeast
Northeast
Midwest
Midwest
West
Northeast
Northeast
Northeast
Kansas City, MO
Miami Gardens, FL
Milwaukee, WI
New Bedford, MA
New Haven, CT
Oakland, CA
Omaha, NE
Paterson, NJ
Plainfield, NJ
Quincy, WA
  Midwest
South
Midwest
Northeast
Northeast
West
Midwest
Northeast
Northeast
West
Rochester, NY
Rocky Mount, NC
San Francisco, CA
Springfield, MA
St. Croix, USVI
St. Louis, MO
St. Thomas, USVI
Wilmington, NC
  Northeast
South
West
Northeast
Caribbean
Midwest
Caribbean
South




ShotSpotter Coverage Regions

Coverage areas are not evenly distributed across the country. To illustrate the variability in coverage area size, we grouped cities within the sample along the four U.S. Census “Regions”. We added a single Caribbean region, for which the Census Bureau does not have a corresponding grouping, because the region constitutes a meaningful subset of ShotSpotter coverage areas.

2015 NGI Census Regions
1 Adjusted for the actual number of days of coverage (average 323 per city)
2 Rate of gunfire = number of gunfire incidents per square mile, per year.
3 The 28 cities used in our comparison included 102.84 square miles of urban America. The median coverage area was 3.04 square miles.
4 Rate of gunfire = number of gunfire incidents per square mile, per year.
5 The median coverage area was 3.04 square miles per city.
6 If a city was not using ShotSpotter Flex for more than 4/5 of either 2013 or 2014, that city was excluded from this analysis.
7 If a city’s contracted coverage area expanded in 2014, the expanded area was not included in this comparison data.




NGI March 2015
Download the
National
Gunfire Index
eBook

2014NGI
Download the
National
Gunfire Index
“First Half” 2014


2014NGI
Download the
National
Gunfire Index
2014
2013NGI Download the
National
Gunfire Index
2013




  • Copyright © 2015 SST, Inc.™ · All rights reserved.
  • Imprint
  • Privacy Policy
  • Methodology & Notes
  • Press Release
SST, Inc.™
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Suite 210
Newark, California 94560

+1.888.274.6877 | Toll Free
+1.510.794.3144 | General Information & Sales

info@ShotSpotter.com · www.ShotSpotter.com
More Information about SST and ShotSpotter can be found at www.SST-Inc.com or www.ShotSpotter.com. The National Gunfire Index eBooks can be downloaded at www.ShotSpotter.com/ngi. You can also follow SST and ShotSpotter solutions on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

All rights reserved. ShotSpotter® Flex℠, ShotSpotter® SiteSecure™, ShotSpotter®, SST™ SecureCampus, and the ShotSpotter logo are registered trademarks of SST, Inc.™, SST and ShotSpotter technology are protected by one or more issued U.S. and foreign patents, with other domestic and foreign patents pending, as detailed at www.ShotSpotter.com/patents.
Leveraging Technology to produce Societal Benefits

As technology continues to advance, balancing its benefits against some of its inherent risks to privacy continues to be an issue which confronts us all. What’s true for technology in general is also the case in the realm of public safety. Technological advances have provided significant benefits to those tasked with keeping us safe while at the same time raising appropriate dialogue about how we can leverage those benefits while minimizing unwarranted intrusions on personal privacy.

Several police tools and technologies capture information that is already in public view: license plate readers, video cameras at stoplights and ATMs, combined video/audio surveillance cameras, facial recognition algorithms, etc. Unlike general audio and video surveillance devices, such as the tens of thousands of video cameras deployed in our nation’s cities which monitor general activities, gunshot detection technology is designed to trigger on loud explosive or impulsive sounds that may likely be gunfire and occur only rarely—and that the public already “hears”. Although courts have held that individuals speaking in a manner which can be overheard on public streets do not have the expectation of privacy which would trigger federal wiretapping laws, SST wants to provide stronger protection of individual rights to privacy than is strictly provided for by law. As a result, we developed, and recently strengthened, this privacy policy in order to exceed federal law requirements and to protect individual privacy.

Sensors
Please note: this section refers to the SST ShotSpotter outdoor gunfire detection technology. Indoor sensors are entirely different and provide additional privacy protections.

ShotSpotter sensors are specifically designed to be triggered by loud explosive or “impulsive” sounds only. The entire system is intentionally designed not to permit “live listening” of any sort. Human voices do not trigger ShotSpotter sensors. There are many other loud noises that do not trigger ShotSpotter: car doors slamming, people yelling “bang bang!”, loud music, airplane engines, leaf blowers, cheering, highway noise, car engines revving, drag races or tires squealing.

In addition, sensors are intentionally deployed in elevated locations (typically 50-100 feet above street level on building rooftops, sometimes 30-40 feet above ground on a street pole) for three reasons:
1) to maximize their ability to “listen to the horizon” and thereby reduce the number of sensors required;
2) to minimize the background noise from cars and other street noises, thus also reducing the number of sensors required; and
3) to minimize the chance that a human voice will be intelligible, however briefly, in order to protect privacy.

ShotSpotter sensors do not use “high gain,” directional, or other specialized microphones. The microphones themselves are similar to those in a mobile phone. When spoken outdoors at distances in excess of approximately 10 feet, a private conversation spoken in a normal voice is simply not intelligible to a human, to a mobile phone, or to ShotSpotter sensors. This is an intentional engineering and design choice made to ensure that ShotSpotter sensors cannot be used to monitor private conversations. It would be safe to say that an individual walking down the street and speaking into a mobile phone is more likely to unintentionally overhear and transmit the private conversation of someone else walking and talking nearby than that a ShotSpotter sensor, far further away, and only triggered by loud, impulsive noises, would be.

Incident Creation
When a loud explosive noise triggers a sensor, it instantly sends summary data about the acoustic event (e.g. time stamp, sensor location, amplitude and envelope characteristics, etc. but explicitly not the audio of the sound itself) to a centralized processor at our SST-operated data center. There, if no other sensors trigger (i.e., if only one sensor hears the particular impulse), nothing else happens and no incident is created. If multiple sensors (usually 3 or more) report impulsive noises within a narrow time window which are sufficiently loud and mathematically consistent with their having originated at a single location, software algorithms attempt to calculate that origin location. If an accurate location can be determined, the associated sensors’ data are aggregated (again, without the audio) and an incident is “created” in a centralized database. A second filter then applies artificial intelligence and statistical techniques to attempt to identify what type of sound originated at this location based on the measurements of the sound. In most cases, the parameters of the sound permit the incident to be filtered out, because it is, e.g., a pile driver or a jackhammer. In a percentage of cases, the characteristics of the sound are consistent with an explosion (gunfire, firework mortar, firecracker, backfire, etc.). In those cases, and only in those cases, the sensors are permitted to push a small snippet of audio to our data center. Otherwise, the audio will be flushed from the sensor’s buffer and lost permanently. This is an intentional privacy-driven design: an active step must be taken only in the context of an explosive triggering acoustic event, or the audio is erased and overwritten.

In those cases in which an explosive triggering acoustic event is detected and located, the brief audio snippets are sent to SST’s Real Time Incident Review Center (IRC) for analysis and alert qualification by highly trained experts in gunshot acoustics. Within seconds, SST’s IRC sends those qualified gunfire alerts directly to a dispatch center, PSAP, patrol officers or other agencies for an effective, coordinated response. The gunfire alerts that the ShotSpotter system delivers to our police agency clients provide a digital record of violent gun crimes in progress, including minimally brief snippets of audio recordings of those crimes. For any given illegal gunfire incident, that snippet can only contain a few seconds of audio before the first shot and after the last shot. The purpose of these short seconds of audio on either end of the gunshots is to allow a human reviewing in the incident to clearly tell when the shooting starts and stops, including judges and juries during possible future criminal proceedings.

No Live Audio Streaming
As mentioned above, the entire system is intentionally designed not to allow “live listening” of any sort. There is no “listen” button available to law enforcement, or to the staff of our Incident Review Center, except the buttons which replay the specific few seconds of incident audio surrounding an impulse noise determined to likely have originated from an explosive source.

No Private Conversations
ShotSpotter sensors do not have the ability to listen to indoor conversations. They do not have the ability to overhear normal speech or conversations on public streets. Recently, privacy zealots have pointed to three extremely rare “edge cases” (3 out of approximately 3 million incidents detected in the past 10 years), in which a human voice yelling loudly in a public street at the scene of a gunfire incident was overheard for a very brief period (a few seconds). They have inaccurately assumed that ShotSpotter sensors are constantly transmitting audio streams, or somehow have been reconfigured to listen to private conversations. That simply isn’t true. In one of these three cases, only two words were overheard; in the others, a sentence was heard before the gunshot and in the other a similar number of words were heard immediately after a gun shot. In all cases, the words were yelled loudly, in a public place, at the scene of a gunfire-related crime, and within a few seconds of that event.

Nonetheless, these rare cases caused SST to revisit our privacy policy and further tighten the parameters for audio availability: the permitted audio length is strictly limited to two seconds before and four seconds after. Unless someone is yelling loudly enough to be heard in public, and also doing so within two seconds before or four seconds after a loud, explosive acoustic incident, the audio will be flushed from the sensor’s buffer and overwritten. The simple fact is that there has never been a case of a private conversation overheard or monitored by any ShotSpotter sensor anywhere at any time. Period.

Policy and Security Minutiae
If you are still with us, here are some additional details: All servers and software used to process, store and protect data are managed and maintained by SST. Police agencies subscribe to the hosted service on an annual basis, radically streamlining the cost and complexity of using gunfire alert and analysis to enhance awareness, response and community safety. SST owns these data and does not release to anyone other than the customers under contract and according to the terms of that contract, thus further ensuring the safety and security of the data. Customers do not have administrative access to our servers, software, sensors, or any other means to circumvent SST’s security and privacy measures.

SST has taken appropriate security approaches to prevent anyone or any entity from gaining unauthorized access to our systems including our processors, networks or sensors. In addition to the fact that the system is designed not to permit live streaming audio, even if an intruder were to take control of our data center and network, they could not “make” a sensor deployed in the field stream audio. It simply isn’t possible: the sensors operate on a proprietary protocol and intentionally do not contain code which permits them to stream audio. Asymmetric key encryption is used to control access to sensors, and SST employees are required to use dual-factor authentication to gain access to most critical systems.

In the event that the ShotSpotter system fails to detect an incident, it is SST’s policy only to respond to requests for incident data or audio related to specific, verified gunfire incidents. In no event does incident audio extend beyond 2 seconds before and 4 seconds after an incident.

In addition to all of these technical and security measures taken to protect privacy and prevent misuse, SST has adopted a human resources policy to ensure that employees and contractors adhere to our privacy policies.

Summary
In the end, we believe that the privacy of our citizens and the community and social benefits of decreased gun violence are not at odds with each other. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that both are satisfied. We believe we have taken all reasonable and necessary precautions to assure a robust and strong privacy posture. We will continue to review, revise—and strengthen if necessary—these policies.
Methodology and Notes

1. The data in this Index is taken only from the areas covered by ShotSpotter systems. There is no assurance that conclusions drawn from this data will be valid outside the coverage areas.

2. The 2014 analysis in this report is based on 61 communities that had ShotSpotter Flex coverage (reviewed alerts) and were collecting data as of December 31, 2014.

3. 47 of the communities with at least 285 days of coverage in 2014 were used for a detailed study of 2014 gunfire data. 28 communities with at least 285 days of coverage in 2013 and 2014 and at least 50 gunfire incidents in 2013 were used for the detailed comparison of 2013 vs. 2014.

4. The average coverage area for the cities was 3.4 square miles in 2013 and 3.5 square miles in 2014.

5. Gunfire incidents for a year period were counted if the local time in the time zone of their occurrence was between 00:00:00 standard time (i.e., midnight) on January 1 and 23:59:59 daylight saving’s time on December 31 (i.e., 1 second before midnight on January 1).

Incidents during the holiday periods of New Years and 4th of July are not counted in the statistics unless explicitly noted because of the prevalence of celebratory gunfire during those holiday periods and the fact that it is highly inconsistent with the normal pattern. The holiday periods are from December 30 to January 2 and from June 27 to July 9.

6. Gunfire per square mile rate calculations take into account growth in coverage areas that occurred in several communities during the reporting periods.

7. Some communities were not monitored by ShotSpotter for the entire 365 days of each reporting year but were monitored by ShotSpotter for enough of the year that it made sense to include them in the report. The inclusion of these areas demands that the days of non-coverage must be accounted for, especially for those calculations involving gunfire incidents per square mile.

The simplest method is to calculate gunfire incidents per square mile for the actual days with coverage and assume that this value represents the entire year. But this method may be inaccurate because of seasonal variation. The gunfire rate for the non-covered days may not be the same as the covered days.

The solution is to impute the number of gunfire incidents for those days for which there was no coverage using a regression-based imputation method, taking account known information about incident rates for the community and trends over time.

Imputation of incidents data is done only for gunfire rates for communities that have coverage data for more than 285 days (about 4/5 of the non-holiday part of a year) in both 2013 and 2014. Communities with less than 285 days were not used in the gunfire rate calculations, leaving 28 communities for the 2013 to 2014 comparisons and 47 communities for 2014 alone, out of the 61 total communities used in the rest of the Index.

This method was cross-checked using cities with two full years of data, comparing actual data to imputed values for simulated missing values. The average difference by city between the gunfire rates using imputed values vs. using actual values was only 2.2%, showing that imputation can be relied upon to give accurate results.

8. Incidents were counted only after formal qualification and operational use of ShotSpotter data by the client agency began, even if gunfire or other incidents were detected previously. Incidents were counted as gunfire if they were classified as Single Gunfire, Multiple Gunfire, or Possible Gunfire by SST-certified review personnel. All other incident types (fireworks, firecrackers, explosions unrelated to gunfire, transformer explosions, thunder, lightning, helicopters, etc.) were excluded from all statistics presented in this report. Gunfire incidents not reviewed by SST-certified review personnel are also excluded.

9. ShotSpotter data does not remain static, as information and adjustments are often made several days or weeks after initial detection (as forensic evidence is analyzed, cases are investigated, etc.). This report takes into account the most accurate and recently-available information.

10. Square mileage is measured on the basis of contractual coverage area. For each such area, the geographic area is defined as a polygon surrounding each coverage area. If the polygon coordinates are not available, the contracted area is used. In some cases, small areas within these coverage areas are intentionally excluded when gunfire is regularly expected in those specific locations (e.g. a legal outdoor shooting range or police practice range). Gunfire which takes place in those locations outside of authorized areas is still included in the tallies, but gunfire which takes place during permitted (expected) periods is not included.

Gunfire incidents occurring outside the immediate vicinity of the contracted coverage areas were excluded from the study.

11. When the Friday, Saturday and Sunday gunfire totals are compared to the rest of the week, a day is defined as starting at 06:00:00 local time and extending to 05:59:59 the next morning. For example, early 02:05 Sunday morning is counted as Saturday night.

12. Individual hours of the week and days of the week were calculated on a local time basis.
For Immediate Release

NATIONAL GUN CRIME REPORT REVEALS 28.8 PERCENT
REDUCTION IN GUNFIRE IN CITIES NATIONWIDE FROM 2013 TO 2014

SST Inc. National Gunfire Index Reveals 105 Incidents of Gunfire Per Day, Equaling 4.4 Incidents Every Hour in 2014


NEWARK, Calif. – March 31, 2015 – Gunfire is down significantly in 2014 compared to 2013, according to the National Gunfire Index™ just released today by SST, Inc., the global leader in gunfire detection, location, alerting and analysis. The median reduction in the rate of gunfire incidents was 28.8 percent in cities across the U.S. using the ShotSpotter gunfire detection technology consistently over the past two years. Fall River, MA., saw the largest decrease with an almost 58% reduction in gunshot incidents. The report (www.shotspotter.com/2014NGI) aggregates and analyzes gunfire activity from 215 square miles across the country. SST holds the most comprehensive, detailed and accurate data available on gunfire in the United States.

SST collected and analyzed gunfire data from a statistical sample of 47 American cities, coast-to-coast, where SST’s ShotSpotter® Flex℠ gunfire detection was deployed in 2014. This is the basis of the 2014 summary. The year over year comparisons were based on 28 cities that used ShotSpotter Flex for both 2013 and 2014. The median coverage was 3.04 square miles per city.

KEY FINDINGS

SST’s National Gunfire Index delivers insights into urban gun violence, including that gunfire in the U.S. is much greater than that which is measured in terms of homicides alone. • There were 33,975 separate gunfire incidents in 2014, according to aggregated gunshot data from the 47 cities measured.
• That translates to 105 gunfire incidents per day, or 4.4 incidents every hour across the 47 cities protected by ShotSpotter in 2014.
• In comparison, more than 11,000 homicides were committed with a firearm each year across the entire United States of America–30 per day, or 1.3 homicides every hour.

A second key finding from the analysis shows that cities using gunfire detection technology are experiencing significant and measureable success as part of an overall smart policing strategy in their communities.
• The median reduction in gunfire rates was 28.8 percent.
• The highest gunfire reduction rate was 57.4 percent in Fall River, MA.
• 93 percent, or 26 of the 28 cities where ShotSpotter was deployed, saw a reduction in gunfire rates in 2014 as compared to 2013.
• Confirmed gunshot incidents overall dropped from 23,683 in 2013 to 19,443 in 2014.
• Rates of gunfire varied widely by geographical region; from a minimum of 32 incidents per square mile, a median of 150 incidents per square mile, to a high of 697 incidents per square mile.

“We can now see how much greater the scope and magnitude of gunfire in the U.S. is than what is measured only in terms of homicides and GSWs,” stated Ralph A. Clark, president and chief executive officer of SST, Inc. “Our goal in making this 2014 index available is to help inform the public and those in law enforcement about the realities of gun violence in America. Although the statistics seem staggering, the good news is that the trends indicate that through new approaches to policing, and technology deployment, they can have a tremendous impact on reducing gunfire activity and strengthening communities.”

In addition to Fall River’s gunfire incidents declining 57.4 percent, many other cities experienced impressive reductions for example:
• Springfield, MA - 51.2 %
• Camden, NJ – 48.0 %
• Plainfield, NJ - 39.8 %
• East Palo Alto, CA – 29.0 %
• Oakland, CA - 26.1 %

“We have seen significant results in improving public safety and the security of our community since we began using ShotSpotter in 2013,” said Chief Racine of the Fall River, Mass. Police Department. “To reduce gunfire activity by 57.4 percent is gratifying to us, but the most important measurement has been how it has enabled us to better engage with and serve our community.”

Further notable details from the 2014 National Gunfire Index of 47 cities across the U.S. include:
• Busiest day for gunfire incidents in 2014 was October 25 (excluding holiday periods of July 4th and New Years Eve) with 226 incidents in total.
• The single busiest hour for a single community was on November 14 at 1:00 am.
• The most active hour of the week in aggregate was Friday, 2:00 am to 3:00 am.
• The worst month for any individual community was January with 60.6 incidents per square mile.

IMPACT ON SOCIETY

The data in the 2014 National Gunfire Index is unprecedented, detailed and actionable. Although it represents just 47 key U.S. cities, it can provide researchers and policy makers with ground truth data necessary to investigate the impact[s] of illegal gunfire activity.

SST is actively working with government agencies and private organizations to ensure that this data is accessible to those in a position to leverage the findings to develop proactive policy and policing strategies with the aim of ending illegal gunfire.

INDEX METHODOLOGY

ShotSpotter gunfire alert and analysis solutions are deployed in more than 90 cities across the globe. For the 2014 Index, SST aggregated ShotSpotter data from 47 of those cities. For year over year data SST used 28 communities that had at least 285 days of ShotSpotter coverage in 2013 and 2014 and had at least 50 gunfire incidents in 2013. The average coverage area for the cities was 3.4 square miles in 2013 and 3.5 square miles in 2014. Incidents during the holiday periods of New Years and Fourth of July were not counted in statistics because of the prevalence of celebratory gunfire during those periods. This report can be found in its entirety at www.shotspotter.com/ngi-March2015. We encourage the public to comment on this report on Twitter using #GunfireIndex.

ABOUT SST, INC.

SST, Inc. is the global leader in gunfire detection and location technology providing the most trusted, scalable and reliable gunfire alert and analysis solutions available today. SST’s ShotSpotter Flex℠ is the leading gunfire alert and analysis solution for detecting gunshots and providing critical intelligence to give law enforcement agencies the detailed real-time data needed to investigate, analyze and prosecute gun related crimes. The company’s deep domain experience, along with cumulative agency best practice experience, delivers measurable outcomes that contribute to reducing gun violence. SST is a proven solution provider with more than 90 installations across the United States and the world. Privately held, the company possesses multiple patents resulting from nearly two decades of innovation in the area of acoustic gunshot location technology.

More Information about SST and ShotSpotter can be found at www.SST-Inc.com or www.ShotSpotter.com. The National Gunfire Index eBooks can be downloaded at www.ShotSpotter.com/ngi. You can also follow SST and ShotSpotter solutions on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Media Contact: Liz Einbinder +1 (415) 577-8255 leinbinder@ShotSpotter.com