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Gunshot detection system to aid IMPD response time progressing

The system is designed to recognize gunshots and send a message to police in increase response times.

INDIANAPOLIS — On the east side of Indianapolis, Alphonzo Davis is hoping IMPD's new crime fighting technology helps stop the violence.

"You got some people that they don't even, they don't call and say anything about crimes or if they hear a gunshot, people won't say anything," said Davis.

The technology is called the "gunshot detection system" and has now entered Phase 2.

"Phase 2 means that all three vendors' sensors are active in the community, and we are collecting data," said IMPD Cmdr. Matthew Thomas.

IMPD is also comparing data collected within a five-square mile radius.

The gunshot detection systems are made up of devices that use a network of sensors installed in high-crime areas. Those sensors can detect a specific audio signature, through an algorithm, to confirm a gunshot.

"The vendors tell us they are able to differentiate between a glass break, a tire screeching, a door slamming and a gunshot," said Thomas.

The system will then send an alert to police.

Phase 2 will help them evaluate data, dispatch officers the next day to find evidence of shots fired and compare alerts from sensors to 911 calls.

"Ultimately, we want to be narrowing our focus and getting in the right location so we can knock on three doors instead of 50," said Thomas.

RELATED: Indianapolis testing 'gunshot detection devices' to catch more criminals, save more lives

Thomas said that's so officers can get information and to speak with neighbors to help solve crimes. 

"Gunshot detection systems are an unanswered question for our city," said Thomas.   

Davis said it's a tool to help police get to a scene faster.

"It helps alleviate crimes and people dying, really, because if you got gunshots and they're not detecting it, how would they know how to come to it quick?" said Davis.

RELATED: IMPD implements more crime fighting technology, including gunshot detection pilot program

IMPD stresses the gunshot detection system will not replace 911.

Phases 3, 4 and 5 of the program are slated to last three weeks each. Officers will begin getting alerts directly to their laptops in their cars, so they can respond to a scene.

IMPD will be working with researchers at IUPUI to analyze the data toward the end of this year.

There is no word yet on when the gunshot detection system will be fully operational in Indianapolis.

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