Dec 21, 2011

Shot 12x, Lives Thanks to Shotspotter

Brazil News

| PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil – A young man in southern Brazil probably owes his life to the Shotspotter gunfire detection and location system. At about 7 am, on September 14th this year, Alessandro Nascimento Maia, 25, was shot 12 times and left for dead in the middle of a street in the city of Canoas.

Shotspotter training console image

Shotspotter (Photo:

Luckily for Alessandro, the city installed the Shotspotter system the year before, the first installation of Shotspotter in Latin America. Within seconds, the system detected the sound of a weapon firing, determined it to be gunfire, pinpointed its location and dispatched police who arrived at the scene within minutes.

Alessandro was taken to a local hospital where 12 bullets were removed from his body and some fractured bones set. Doctors said at the time that he would make a full recovery. According to the city government website, Alessandro was the eighth victim saved by the system since it was put into service in September 2010.

Canoas, the website says, has been working with “technology and intelligence,” in addition to community policing and social programs to combat violence, improving the quality of life.

Statistics show the approach is working. In the neighborhood of Guajuviras, where the system is active, there was a 73.6% reduction in homicides comparing the first half of 2011 with the same period of 2009, when the system came online.

The Shotspotter system, which is now being installed in Rio de Janeiro, utilizes a system of sensors hidden throughout the service area. When a loud noise is detected, the system analyzes the sound to determine if it is the result of gunfire. If it is, it determines the location with an accuracy of 10 meters (about 33 feet). It also determines the type of weapon. It then alerts police who can respond immediately.

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