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Mayor Keller and Interim Police Chief Harold Medina Highlight ShotSpotter Technology

ShotSpotter is being implemented in three of APD’s six area commands, based on data showing where gun violence is most prevalent.

Mayor Tim Keller and Interim Police Chief Harold Medina today highlighted initial results from the use of ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection technology.

APD started using the technology in July, tracking more than 800 gunshot detections. About 100 cities around the country use ShotSpotter, which provides police with critical and timely information after guns are fired.

Watch a video highlighting the ShotSpotter technology.

“We are investing in modern technology to give APD every possible tool to fight gun violence in Albuquerque,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “We brought gun detection technology to Albuquerque with critical funding from the Legislature and the Governor. This is already helping officers respond more quickly to shootings and arrest the drivers of violent crime.”

ShotSpotter is being implemented in three of APD’s six area commands, based on data showing where gun violence is most prevalent.

“Gun violence is a problem for the entire city, but most gun violence is concentrated in the communities where I served as a street cop for most of my career,” Chief Harold Medina said. “I am empowering commanders to arrest the drivers of violent crime, and we are giving them the tools to be successful.”

Officers receive ShotSpotter alerts on their smart phones and laptop computers within 60 seconds of a shot being fired. The rapid response allows police to get to the scene of a shooting more quickly. Because ShotSpotter alerts are so precise, investigators are more likely to locate and collect shell casings from gunshots. Those casings are entered into a national database for bullet casings that is part of NIBIN, the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. Using the technology from both ShotSpotter and NIBIN, investigators are able link offenders to multiple crimes if the bullet casings match up.

APD’s Homicide Unit used ShotSpotter recently in two cases where detectives were able to find and recover evidence and help clarify witness accounts.

Below are examples of successful arrests based on recent ShotSpotter activations:

On Aug. 1, 2020, officers were dispatched to a shots fired call. There was a shot spotter activation that indicated 1 shot was fired. Officers arrived on scene and located two male subjects in the corner of the parking lot, in close proximity to the reported shooting. Officers gave the subjects commands and detained both subjects. Officers performed a pat down on the subjects, which one subject was found to have a handgun tucked into his waistband. The subject admitted to shooting one shot in order to scare a car away. The subject also admitted to being a felon. Officers confirmed the subject was a felon. The subject was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful caring of a firearm, and negligent use of a firearm.

On Aug. 3, 2020, officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert and discovered an Acura 4 door parked in the middle of the roadway, with an expired license plate. After making contact with the driver of the vehicle and performing detailed investigation to uncover her identity (concealed identity) and other surrounding facts, the officers determined the driver's information and that the shots came from her vehicle. A felony warrant was confirmed for the driver's arrest and an inventory search of the vehicle uncovered narcotics and a firearm. The driver was a convicted felon and was also charged with possession of this weapon. She was booked without incident.

On August 4, 2020, officers were dispatched based off a ShotSpotter notification of 2 shots fired in the area. Upon arrival, they contacted a male who disclosed that his boyfriend had shot at him with a nickel plated .38 revolver. The male stated that he confronted and accused his boyfriend of damaging his vehicle. Following an argument, the boyfriend took out his weapon and fired two shots at him. The victim ran toward his vehicle in fear of being injured and the boyfriend ran back inside their home. SWAT was activated and the boyfriend was later taken into custody and booked on felony charges.

On Aug. 6, 2020, officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert and observed a male throw a bullet casing on the street. Officers detained the suspect and located a firearm concealed in his waist band. Officers were unable to establish probable cause that he fired the shot, but did establish probable cause to arrest the subject for Unlawful Carrying of a Deadly Weapon and Negligent Use of a Deadly Weapon. He was booked and the firearm was tagged into evidence.

On Aug. 9, 2020, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation call and observed several people around a vehicle at the location where the activation occurred. As they went to contact the group, officers observed a female subject throw an item under the vehicle. The item was discovered to be a firearm. Officers confirmed that subject was a convicted felon. Upon searching her, officers located methamphetamine and cocaine. A second firearm was also located inside the vehicle that she was driving.

On Aug. 9, 2020, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation. As they checked the area, a call came in that a white Jeep Liberty was in the parking lot of the Blake's Lotaburger doing donuts and then witnesses heard shot fired, but were not able to say if it came from the Jeep. As officers arrived in the area, they observed the White Jeep pulling out of the parking lot. Due to officers not knowing if shot were fired from that car a felony stop was done on the traffic stop. The driver was taken into custody without incident. Officers were not able to locate a firearm on him. He was arrested and booked for DWI. While conducting the DWI investigation, officer observed what appeared to be a gunshot on the driver’s leg. When asked about the injury the male was so intoxicated he was not able to answer where, when, or how he was shot. There were also multiple gunshot impacts to his vehicle

On Aug. 13, 2020, Street Crime officers searched for a juvenile with an outstanding felony warrant. Street Crime officers received information from SW officers regarding an armed and dangerous subject at a specific address. Officers were advised of four different ShotSpotter calls at the listed intersection on the previous Saturday night. Street crime officers contacted the Juvenile Probation Officer and were advised the subject was on an ankle monitor which the subject usually fails to charge and unsure if home. Officers checked the subject’s social media accounts and located four photos of the subject armed with a handgun. A plan was created to contact the individual at the residence where he was taken into custody without incident.

On Sept. 28, 2020, officers responded to a ShotSpotter call while conducting proactive patrol in a high-crime area identified through crime analysis. An officer was immediately flagged down by a witness who pointed out the offender vehicle. The officer got behind the vehicle, and conducted a felony stop. The offender threw the gun out of the window prior to the stop. The handgun was recovered just a few feet from the actual traffic stop, discarded in the roadway. The officer interviewed all parties involved, and the offender admitted to firing the gun into the air and discarding the firearm after seeing police behind him. The officer also located an independent witness who identified the shooter. The offender was arrested for shooting at or from a motor vehicle, and tampering with evidence. Casings were recovered at the scene.