May 29, 2016 – nbcnewyork.com – businessinsider.com – Columbia University has balked at an NYPD request to use rooftops on campus as locations for sensors capable of detecting gunfire in the city.
The Ivy League school gave no reason why it declined to allow the police department to install the ShotSpotter technology on campus, sources told NBC 4 New York.
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Such a system is already in place in various cities, as outlined last May 2014 by The New York Times, and it records a whole lot more than gunshots.
A sergeant for the Richmond Police Department told the Times he could hear, “doors slamming, birds chirping, cars on the highway, horns honking.”
These systems can also record conversations, which raises questions about the limits of police surveillance. Indeed, one murder case in New Bedford, Mass. is expected to hinge on a recorded argument, according to the Times.
The main supplier of the current system is ShotSpotter, which lists Lockheed Martin and the Ferguson Group as two of its three Strategic Partners.
Police officials say ShotSpotter often picks up gunfire that is never reported in a 911 call. They add that the technology enables officers to respond to gunfire faster than a 911 call.
Installing the sensors on campus would help the department combat gang violence in the public housing complexes near the university, officials say.
Credit businessinsider.com – nbcnewyork.com