ShotSpotter technology leads LMPD to house with guns, drugs and cash

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- ShotSpotter technology helped LMPD make a big bust Friday. 

Second Division officers used the new technology to pinpoint the location of gunfire.  

"Within 60 seconds of those first shots ringing out, our officers knew about it and were able to respond," Officer Lamont Washington said. "While they were out there, they heard more shots."

Police tracked down shell casings in the backyard of a home, got permission to search inside and seized six guns, drugs and cash. Two people were arrested. 

"This is an area where you may not have had five officers right there when it happened," Washington said. 

The gunshot detection system uses microphone sensors to find the location of gunfire within seconds. ShotSpotter has been up and running in Louisville for two months and helps police respond to hundreds of crime scenes. 

"In the past seven days, we've had 58 ShotSpotter occurrences," Washington said. 

That's a big number since the technology only covers a relatively small area of the city. 

"Fifty-eight shootings just in the six square miles that we cover with Shotspotter, and every one of those had multiple officers dispatched to them," Washington said. 

On July 15, ShotSpotter lead police to a fatal shooting scene in the Shawnee neighborhood. Officers were on the way as 911 calls came flooding in. An LMPD spokesperson on the scene said the technology was "quite instrumental" in helping officers pinpoint the specific location of the shooting.

ShotSpotter comes with a $1.2 million price tag, but the technology appears to be proving its worth. 

"It's just another tool on our belt," Washington said. "I think it's a very, very valuable tool for us to use as an agency."

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