ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s called ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system that alerts officers where a shot was fired within seconds. It’s been a part of the Albuquerque Police Department since 2020 and Chief Harold Medine says the device is working.”Many times we have incidents where individuals are claiming self-defense and with ShotSpotter they can determine actually who shot first, how many shots were fired on each side, and it’s helped us in a number of investigations.”

APD has had nearly 9,000 ShotSpotter alerts since the beginning of the year. Of those alerts, APD says more than 1,200 have been successful. A total of 58 suspects have been identified and 179 victims found in 2022 so far. Medina says ShotSpotter has been a great tool for the department but believes it’s just a piece of the puzzle.”I think it’s been a great addition, I think it still has a lot of potential and that as we move forward we can definitely continue to use the program and even possibly grow the program.”

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ShotSpotter is in all six area commands throughout the city. But Medina says the next step, if funding allows, would be adding them in key areas, like schools.

“Right now I do think there’s a concern around our educational institutions and making sure that we would get immediate notifications if shots were being fired so I think there are potential places where we would want them,” said Medina.

APD has ShotSpotter at Balloon Fiesta Park that’s only activated during Balloon Fiesta. Medina would like to see more coverage in other areas of Albuquerque that see large gatherings and traffic. He says the city has spent millions on the technology but believes it’s money well spent.”It’s everywhere from starting to getting resources out there at the beginning of the shooting, all the way through securing the conviction on some of these cases so I think it runs a very wide range of successes for us.”

According to the company that makes the technology, ShotSpotter is used in more than 120 cities across the country such as Chicago and Detroit.