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Gunshot detection system reviewed at meeting

Gunshot detection system reviewed

AMMON, Idaho - Tuesday afternoon, the City of Ammon, Bonneville County and Idaho Falls reviewed a gunshot-detection system that was tested at Sand Creek Middle School in August.

A Virginia-based company helped temporarily implement a system that was tested with live rounds. Bruce Patterson, the technology director for the city of Ammon, said three local entities helped make it happen.

"The partnership that exists between the city of Ammon, Bonneville County sheriffs and school District 93 is unique," said Patterson. "That's been commented on. We are willing to each bring our assets, and use them to start to move the needle."

When a shot is fired microphones notify a computer system. The system then forwards video from surveillance cameras to the county's dispatch center. After reviewing that video, images and location information can be sent to devices for law enforcement en route.

Capt. Sam Hulse, of the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, said the system is useful.

"It's handed in to you in such a way that you can instantly recognize what you're looking at, give you a location on where this is is occurring so that as you're responding you can work out you're planning," said Hulse.

The test in Aug. was entered into a contest with the National Institute of Justice. In December, Ammon, District 93 and the sheriff's office will find out if they won money to further utilize the system.

"How do we staff for that, how broad do you kind of build these systems out?" said Hulse. "All of those are questions that still need to be answered."

The providers of the system were so encouraged by their August visit, they've considered coming back to develop the product further.

"They're in the process of changing their algorithms, so they're more accurate in detection," said Patterson. "They would like to come back out and set up for another trial, another demonstration, maybe later this year or next summer."

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