Broward Sheriff’s Office to use ShotSpotter tech to fight crime in county

The Broward Sheriff's Office will again be using ShotSpotter to reduce response time to shootings in the central part of the county.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Broward Sheriff’s Office will be adding a gunshot surveillance system in its efforts to reduce crime in unincorporated Central Broward, the agency announced Thursday.

BSO is partnering with ShotSpotter, a “sensor-based technology [that] detects and locates outdoor gunfire in real-time.”

That information of shots fired can be communicated to deputies in seconds, allowing them to respond faster.

“The top priorities of the BSO ShotSpotter Initiative are to save lives, prevent violent crimes from occurring and arrest people committing crimes, specifically with firearms,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement. “This is an important step in our multi-layered, comprehensive approach to protect the communities we serve by reducing violence.”

BSO says it will cost $205,000 for a three-year program in Central Broward, which has seen a high volume of calls related to gunfire and violent crime.

County commissioners approved the spending from a trust fund derived from contraband seized during investigations.

BSO took part in a ShotSpotter pilot program a decade ago but declined to pursue it further, saying that there were too many false alarms and not enough resulting arrests. The agency says ShotSpotter technology has become more accurate since, and that the company now guarantees a 90% accuracy rate in identifying actual gunfire and location.

Miami-Dade County approved a 10-year, $5.6 million deal to use ShotSpotter technology in 2016.