Boston Police Use GPS Technology To Combat Crime

Boston Police have a new weapon to use against criminals. Combining their ShotSpotter detection system and the city’s street cameras, investigations into shots fired incidents begin before police officers arrive on-scene.

Whenever a shot is heard by ShotSpotter, the nearest street camera will automatically “turn towards that incident for about a minute to give us a chance of seeing anybody going to or from the incident” announced Jennifer Gillis, an intelligence analyst in Boston Police Real Time Crime Center.

Boston Police Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald said that the department recently gained the ability to access GPS tracking system data of the more than 1,800 people on probation or parole within the city.

Using the ShotSpotter detection system, street cameras, and being able to access the GPS tracking system information enables officers to “zero in on a potential suspect or rule out someone with a record.”

Supt. Fitzgerald continued stating, “We’ve had very serious shooting cases where GPS data shows that individuals were at the scene and in some cases have been arrested for those shootings.” In other incidents, the GPS data has proven that an accused was not at the location, and clears the person from suspicion.

Police say the new program is “using technology to help us do our job better.”

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