VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach Police conducted a controlled test of its ShotSpotter system Wednesday evening.
VBPD told WAVY News the test would be conducted Wednesday between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. within the second precinct resort area, but would not specify a location.
“ShotSpotter” is a sensor system that detects the sound of gunfire and uses GPS technology to pinpoint its exact location. Police are alerted within 60 seconds.
Officials warn nearby residents and motorists that there may be brief road closures in the area to accommodate the testing.
Residents are urged to continue to call 911 when they hear shots so officers can respond to determine whether it is related to the testing or to a separate incident.
The city said national statistics indicate that less than 20% of all ShotSpotter activations also have a corresponding 911 call. Officials said that allows “perpetrators to become emboldened and leads community members to believe police are apathetic to crime conditions.”
Police Chief Paul Neudigate tweeted on July 17 that the department had a real world test of the system. Only a couple days after ShotSpotter went live, it detected ten rounds fired on 20th Street. Although 911 did not receive calls about the incident, police still responded. Chief Neudigate said they collected evidence at the scene and are reviewing video to find the people responsible for the gunfire.