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Interim Evaluation Report on the Implementation of the SECURES Gunshot Detection System

NCJ Number
Date Published
61 pages
This interim report provides findings from an evaluation of the implementation of the SECURES gunshot detection system demonstration in Austin, Texas, which began July 6, 2001 and will be completed in July 2002.
The SECURE system is designed to provide outdoor surveillance of gunfire activity and to alert police of that activity and its location within seconds of its occurrence. It can detect and classify gunshot activity of a wide variety of weapon types and distinguish them from loud noises in the vicinity caused by fireworks, automobile backfiring, etc. SECURES sensor units are deployed as a grid of microphone sensors mounted on utility poles, buildings, or other structure and are designed to detect and recognize gunshot sounds. Each sensor unit is a stand-alone gunshot "discriminator" and is built into a small physical package approximately 1,100 cubic centimeters. The receiver and, if needed, relay receiver units are required to receive the sensor unit messages for processing. The base station consists of a desktop computer and a laptop computer. After a gunfire event, the desktop computer logs the time of arrival of each incoming message from the active sensing modules as they are received. The base station calculates and reports in two or three dimensions the position of the shot. To date, the evaluation of the Austin demonstration has determined that the system operates reliably and as advertised, such that the Austin Police Department has been able to take ownership and conduct operations without the need for continuous support. The potential of the system has been demonstrated in four different circumstances (one arrest) and even in the case of illegal explosions has accurately indicated the locations. The system has proven easily amenable to sensitivity modifications to customize it for target location. This interim report advises that the promise of the system suggests the need for further experimentation, with a broader scope experiment required in higher crime/shooting event locations. Also, consistent patrol validation should be attempted. Extensive figures

Date Published: January 1, 2002