San Jose is ready to launch its gunshot detection pilot program with hopes of decreasing crime in the Cadillac Winchester Neighborhood, an area in West San Jose historically impacted by gun violence.
The San Jose Police Department will host virtual community meetings on March 17 and 18 so residents can learn more about gunshot detection technology — which the city gets to test for six months free of charge.
On March 3, SJPD announced it entered an agreement with V5 Systems, a tech company that creates devices that recognize the sound of gunfire.
The so-called “OnSound” gunshot detection devices use acoustic sensors and artificial intelligence to identify the location and direction of gunfire. V5 Systems promises up to 90% accuracy in a 250-foot range and the device’s AI technology may boost accuracy the longer the device is installed.
In addition to pinpointing the location of gunfire, the device can capture audio files and video which can then be sent to a police officer’s smartphone, computer, radios and vehicles.
SJPD released a statement saying the real-time alerts to officers can help the department respond more quickly to gun crimes and improve resident safety. Less than two weeks ago, SJPD responded to its sixth homicide of the year, which involved a gun.
On Feb. 23 officers responded to reports of gunfire around the 2400 block of Monterey Highway. They found a man with at least one gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries on Feb. 25.
“Our communities are understandably, at times, reluctant to call and report these incidents,” said Acting Chief of Police Dave Tindall. “This could lead to a delay in police response times and providing life-saving measures to potential victims of gun violence. We will continue to look for technologies that make our neighborhoods and residents safe.”
The system will be mounted on power poles and may be moved to different locations during the pilot to see how effective the technology is in various settings, according to SJPD.
Authorized members of SJPD can use the video and audio from OnSound as evidence when investigating crimes and the evidence will be stored for up to one year. If the technology is effective, SJPD will consider using it in other areas of the city.
Residents of Cadillac Winchester can attend one of two meetings to learn about the gunshot detection pilot program. The first meeting will be held Wednesday, March 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Information will be provided in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese on the Virtual Meeting Platform Zoom. To join the meeting, go to https://sanjoseca.zoom.us/J/91819095674
A second meeting will be held in Spanish on Thursday, March 18, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. To join the meeting, go to https://sanjoseca.zoom.us/J/91851330772
Contact Carly Wipf at [email protected] or follow @CarlyChristineW on Twitter.