LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In the high-stakes business of fighting crime, Las Vegas police are turning to technology to give them the advantage over criminals.
Inside the Fusion Watch Center at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters an alert comes in from the pilot "Shot Spotter" program.
Eight gunshots were picked up by a sophisticated network of sensors that triangulate the location and possible caliber of the firearm.
This one sounds like rapid gunfire in the area of East Craig Road and North Las Vegas Boulevard.
Seconds later, police use their public safety camera to zoom into the area and locate two people they may want to talk to in connection with the illegal gunfire.
It's just one of 486 possible gun shot crimes identified by 'Shot Spotter' within the first year of the pilot program's introduction.
"The fascinating part of it, about 65% of those were not reported to police, so these are crimes we would have never known about it if we hadn't use this gunshot detection system," said Lieutenant Dori Koren with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Lt. Koren said the programs success is proof that fighting crime from behind a keyboard is working.
"We are discovering that the system allows us to respond faster to some of these gun crimes, helps us identify and capture those suspects at a better rate," said Lt. Koren.
A combination of sworn police officers and highly trained civilian specialists keep watch all day, everyday to help coordinate any police response to illegal gunshots, in addition to a variety of different crimes including terrorism prevention.
"It is these folks here and I'm proud of what they've done," said Lt. Koren.
"This unit, in particular, has offered us an opportunity to prevent violent crime, not just address it, but prevent it like never before," said Lt. Koren.
Lt. Koren said technology like Shot Spotter is the future of policing and Las Vegas Police remain on the cutting edge of keeping their community safe.