Police credit ShotSpotter technology with helping solve crimes, taking guns off streets


PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – If a shot rings out on the streets of Pittsfield, it may be reported but it may not.

Thanks to a system called ShotSpotter, police say the chances of figuring out who fired the shot are higher.

“The system does it immediately,” said Pittsfield Police Lt. Gary Traversa. “It gets us within very close proximity to where the gunfire occurred.”

ShotSpotter is a series of sensors that can detect gunfire and notify police where it came from. In a little over two years, there have been nearly 300 activations with 61 verified shooting incidents.

Half of those were 911 calls and ShotSpotter together, 15 percent were just 911 calls, and 29 percent were ShotSpotter activations alone.

“With no associated 911 call, so that’s 29 percent we would not otherwise know about,” Traversa said.

ShotSpotters are spread all across the city of Pittsfield. Several detected gunfire where a woman was killed early Sunday morning.

Police are still on the lookout for the person who shot and killed 32-year-old Stephanie Olivieri while she was sitting in her car on Columbus street early Sunday morning. They don’t believe she was the intended target.

Some who live in the area where the shooting happened say the money used on the system may be better spent elsewhere.

“There’s other places you can put the money like paying the cops to make more rounds around the neighborhood a lot more often,” Pittsfield resident Mary Rist said.

Police feel differently. They say as a result of having the system, they’ve made 21 arrests and taken nine firearms off the street.

“It’s definitely a great crimefighting tool, and it’s been effective for us,” Traversa said.

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