Denver police to test ShotSpotter system in 4 different neighborhoods with live gunfire

Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-05 00:42:16-04

DENVER – People in four different neighborhoods around Denver will hear gunshots ring Wednesday evening, but don’t be alarmed – it’s all part of a test of the police department’s expanding gunshot detection technology.

The Denver Police Department will conduct live gunfire testing that may be heard in the East Colfax, Lowry, Montclair and South Park Hill neighborhoods from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Residents living in these neighborhoods may hear gunshots from the tests of the ShotSpotter System, which allow police to pinpoint where a shooting happens within seconds.

The gunshot detection system uses a network of acoustic sensors to detect when a gun is fired and then precisely and quickly pinpoints the location of the gunfire, according to Denver Police. 

In less than a minute, the vendor (ShotSpotter) is supposed to notify 911 dispatchers of the incidents.

"That's important because the human ear has a bunch of acoustic issues, so when you hear gunshots, you may think that they're at your neighbor's house or two house down, when it reality, it could be half a block down," said Lt. Aaron Sanchez with the Denver Police Department.  "So this triangulates and gets the officers to where the shots were actually fired."

East Denver, West Denver, Far Northeast Denver, and the East Colfax Corridor area have the gunshot detection technology in place, police said Wednesday.

Police said the use of this system allows them make quicker arrests and save lives – ultimately improving neighborhood safety.


Denver police began using ShotSpotter in early 2015. Since then, the ShotSpotter system has led to 102 arrests and the recovery of 84 guns.

The program, which was recently expanded, has a two-year, $1,964,909 contract with the City of Denver.