Cape Girardeau police using new technology to locate gunshots

New technology to help police locate gunshots
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2022 at 12:44 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The latest weapon in law enforcement is not a gun but a gunshot locator; and police say it is a game changer.

The new technology is called Shot Spotter.

Cape Girardeau police are focusing on downtown south Cape Girardeau, where they say gunfire happens often. They hope this technology used in big cities can reduce gun violence in Cape Girardeau.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” Officer Richard Couch said.

A path to safety is where the Cape Girardeau Police Department is heading

They say the new technology, called Shot Spotter, detects the precise location of gunshots.

“You never know how it’s going to be until you learn how to implement it how, it helps the way you do business,” Couch aid.

Here is how it works: audio sensors on buildings pinpoint where and how many shots are fired. From there, trained acoustic experts review the sound and alert officers. This all happens in under a minute.

Chief Wes Blair said they are keeping the location of their sensors private.

“When we get somebody that calls, and they hear a gunshot somewhere, we just know a general area to go to. Which means we need to send more officers than we might send if we knew within a few feet of where that gunfire actually is,” Blair said.

King’s Wigs and Beauty manager, Berni Richards, explained her store is not far from the targeted area.

She described how she feels about the new technology.

“I would definitely feel safer, because you never know what’s going to happen, who is out there doing what,” Richards said.

She’s never heard gunshots while at work, but she said it nice knowing she’s safe.

“If we extended our hours, and sometimes maybe I do stay a little bit later, like a hour later. It would help me feel safer,” Richards said.

Blair shared he has a lot of faith in this new system. He said he is hoping it’ll gain the trust of the public.

“This is one way that we can demonstrate that we are taking this very seriously and we want to find a way to mitigate the violence that we have,” he said.

Blair said if the new technology is successful, they would like to expand to cover other areas.

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