VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Special technology meant to detect gunshots has been operational at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for about two and a half months.
Now, the technology is expanding to other parts of the city.
On Thursday, the Virginia Beach Police Department announced ShotSpotter was now installed and operational in parts of the Western Bayside communities.
“We are grateful for this technology, which is part of a comprehensive violence reduction strategy, and will help to assist us in addressing concerns regarding gun violence,” the department said.
ShotSpotter’s sensor system detects the sound of gunfire and uses GPS technology to pinpoint its exact location. Police are alerted within 60 seconds. It allows police to investigate all instances of gunfire, instead of only those reported by 911 callers.
City Council in April approved $240,000 to purchase and install the system in the Oceanfront area. It was part of a package that aimed to give the police department more tools to keep the resort area safe, including an expansion of the Oceanfront camera system, safety lighting and more.
After the initial installation of the system in July, the city said the ShotSpotter technology would be expanded in the future.
Virginia Beach is the second Hampton Roads locality to install SpotSpotter. It was installed in Newport News in 2019.