Coffee cans in crime fighting. (Mpls)


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Otherguy Overby
June 17, 2006, 01:39 PM
The city council and mayor of Minneapolis have a plan:

http://www.kstp.com/article/stories/S16972.html?cat=1

The Minneapolis City Council approved a new system that detects the sound of gunfire in the city, allowing police to respond more quickly to possible crimes.

The system detects the acoustic signature of gunshots and even the sound of a bullet as it travels through the air. It uses 8 to 20 sensors per square mile to pinpoint gunfire to within 75 feet.

"If response time is predictably swift, then criminals have a much less friendly environment to operate in, and that deters a lot of people,” says Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels, who represents the city’s North side.

Samuels voted for the Shot Spotter technology in the council's meeting Friday morning.

The system would cost about $325,000 to be installed.

Samuels says it is worth the price.

"We're talking about saving lives. So it almost goes without saying that it will be worth it."

Shot Spotter CEO James Beldock says the system is so accurate it has reduced crime in some cities by 33 percent.

"If more than one shot is fired from a vehicle, we can tell you the speed of the vehicle and what road it's on," Beldock says.

The system’s sensors are hidden in units the size of a coffee can, and criminals cannot detect them.

"They have no idea where the system is deployed,” says Beldock.
Mayor R.T. Rybak says he will sign the council’s approval.

Shot Spotter will first be deployed on the North Side and parts of the city’s South Side.

Police say the technology could be installed in other parts of the city if it proves to be successful.

This could lead one to speculate that a certain obnoxious poster from THR has moved to Minneapolis...

Finally, about the Minneapolis city council, please google:
Minneapolis "city council member" jail

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c_yeager
June 17, 2006, 03:41 PM
I want to know how the city intends to place 8-20 coffee-can sized detectors per square mile in the city without anyone noticing where they are. I suspect that these babies are going to last a week before they start getting pulled down.

Oh wait, now I get it. You put up the "detectors" and when they start getting vandalized then you have a convenient excuse to put up cameras, just to protect the sensors mind you. 8-20 really good cameras per square mile is probably sufficient for full covereage of most of the streets in the city.

CletusFudd
June 17, 2006, 04:00 PM
"Oh wait, now I get it. You put up the "detectors" and when they start getting vandalized then you have a convenient excuse to put up cameras, just to protect the sensors mind you. 8-20 really good cameras per square mile is probably sufficient for full covereage of most of the streets in the city."

How long before they learn to spoof the detectors with firecrackers or some other means and watch with amusement as several cars are diverted from their regular duties to investigate?

c_yeager
June 17, 2006, 04:15 PM
How long before they learn to spoof the detectors with firecrackers or some other means and watch with amusement as several cars are diverted from their regular duties to investigate?

Simple solution make it so that the use and possession of fireworks is banned in Minneapolis and that the possession/use of such is punished in a way that is comparable to the discharge of a firearm in the city limits. I wouldnt be too suprised if this was already the case. The beauty of this is that, like most big liberal agendas, one can actually create more criminals in addition to catching existin ones.

Sergeant Bob
June 17, 2006, 04:21 PM
Shot Spotter CEO James Beldock says the system is so accurate it has reduced crime in some cities by 33 percent.

Wow, imagine that. The CEO of the company trying to sell the city this contraption saying it reduces crime.

"If more than one shot is fired from a vehicle, we can tell you the speed of the vehicle and what road it's on," Beldock says.
Hey,cool! They can give the criminals speeding tickets too!

Otherguy Overby
June 18, 2006, 01:19 PM
Sergeant Bob
Quote:
Shot Spotter CEO James Beldock says the system is so accurate it has reduced crime in some cities by 33 percent.
Wow, imagine that. The CEO of the company trying to sell the city this contraption saying it reduces crime.

Quote:
"If more than one shot is fired from a vehicle, we can tell you the speed of the vehicle and what road it's on," Beldock says.

Hey,cool! They can give the criminals speeding tickets too!
Yesterday 12:15 PM

Eggzactly, more add on charges to be plea bargained. Can you emagine what all those extra convictions will do for the careers of young politically motivated attorneys for the state/city. It's gotta be all win, right?

For the rest of us, some people could get great entertainment from spoofing this system. :evil:

Finally, it occurs to me relying on technology to put a bandaid on social problems is really wishful thinking for the socialists. Passing the blame/buck is no longer a valid solution. (NYC mayor bloomberg's recent ravings are a great example)

fjolnirsson
June 18, 2006, 01:45 PM
I predict a rise in random gunshots, used to draw attention away from crimes in other areas, as well as gunshots fired in order to lure police into an ambush.
What nonsense.

jamz
June 18, 2006, 01:46 PM
I don't think it's a terrible idea. It's not taking away from the lawful gun owner, it's not taking away from legitimate self defense, it's not taking anything away from sport shooters or hunters, none of which would go on out of doors within city limits, it's a method to target the bad guys upon their committing a crime.

If I'm involved in a SD shooting in the city and the city can tell what and where it happens and calls the police, then fine, I'd be calling them myself as soon as I could anyway.

It's a hell of a lot better than banning firearms within city limits, for instance.

Also, maybe they can be fooled, maybe it's not so easy. I doubt very much that fireworks or backfires would do it, I'm pretty sure they are very different accoustic signatures. They could, and will be mapped however, in time, given enough criminal initiative.

While I could also see using it as a tool to lure police into areas away from actual planned crime, I can't see it being more abused than a phone call would to do the same thing. What's the difference between going to 4th and Main and firing a few rounds into a wall and calling 911 from a pay phone and reporting shots fired at 4th and Main? Again I think this drawback is a wash.

Shield529
June 18, 2006, 01:53 PM
I wonder how much snake oil that huckster threw in for free? This has got to be the stupidest contraption to date.

1 old 0311
June 18, 2006, 03:26 PM
Well yes! Don't you think the "home boys" will now chill by 33% if they know they can be heard? Hell they don't care if they are seen.:what:

Kevin

Otherguy Overby
June 18, 2006, 03:56 PM
Shield529:
I wonder how much snake oil that huckster threw in for free? This has got to be the stupidest contraption to date.

Thanks, there's also probably money under the table here somewhere.

Please people google up this for a view into the Minneapolis city council (cut and paste the whole line into google:

Minneapolis "city council member" jail

or

Minneapolis "school board" jail


Enjoy!

zoom6zoom
June 18, 2006, 04:30 PM
On the TV show NCIS, they used a system like this in the first season to triangulate where a sniper was shooting from. Of course, they knew where he was planning to strike so they only needed three devices. Don't know how well it would work in the real world. (The episode was "One Shot, One Kill", originally aired 2/10/04)

leadcounsel
June 18, 2006, 05:32 PM
What a stupid waste of taxpayer money.... spend spend spend our grandchildren into poverty....

I have a better idea. If the gunshot warrants a police visit in a urban area, I'm certain that someone will pick up the phone. A gunshot that can be heard by a sensor can also be heard by PEOPLE!

And aren't dispatchers overwhelmed with calls as it is? The last thing we need are false alarms every night all year. And I agree that it would be a great way to divert attention from a true crime.

This is a great ploy to "listen" to everything else that goes on too. Big Brother anyone?

dch1978
June 18, 2006, 06:10 PM
Don't have a link but I believe it was somewhere towards the East. (Philly?)

Anyway, all the same conversations were had here and about 3 weeks later the police took them all down or just stopped reponding.

The system could make no difference between firecrackers, car backfire, falling bricks.....etc.

Central MN is pretty well a "liberal" area and they probably just took the word of the CEO.

It will go nowhere.

DCH

1911Tuner
June 18, 2006, 06:11 PM
When I was a kid, coffee cans made good 100-yard targets for our .22 rifles...:D

Sven
June 18, 2006, 08:47 PM
Oleg: MN sure is full of nanny-staters, ain't it

-feeling minnesota

halvey
June 19, 2006, 10:31 AM
My God what is the big deal? The system was about $300k, peanuts for a big city like Minneapolis. If it works, great. If not, so what? The liberals taxed the liberals to pay for this.

If I'm involved in a SD shooting and this system works, all the better.

Oleg: MN sure is full of nanny-staters, ain't it
Not really. Get out of the 494-694 loop (thats the main part of the metro area for you people who've never been here) and it gets pretty moderate to conservative in a hurry. You'd be amazed the outstate Democrats who are WAY more conservative then your east coast Republicans who are pretty much liberals anyway.

lance22
June 19, 2006, 11:24 AM
AWESOME! I'm all in favor of it. After the shooting takes place, they can find your body thanks to nifty triangulation. However, contrary to the wishes of the Murderapolis City Council, they just might find a dead car-jacker layin' there in his baggy pants n' dew rag. Who knows ... all that's important is that this new system will get them to the crime scene faster, start the paper work sooner, and move on to the next thing. Think efficiency.:)

pcf
June 19, 2006, 12:04 PM
I once read a story about a boy who cried wolf.......

After a couple of days it'll be used to corroborate reports/stories on where a shooting took place. I'm sure the city council won't learn what the police already know, people who shoot guns in public, usually don't wait around for the police.

A gunshot that can be heard by a sensor can also be heard by PEOPLE!

In a city/urban area you'd be lucky if you could find three people that could point to within 397 degrees of where a gunshot came from.

Carl N. Brown
June 19, 2006, 12:26 PM
Don't most crimes involve no gunfire?

Sam Adams
June 19, 2006, 12:58 PM
I wonder if tape-recorded gunshots, turned up to sufficient volume, would spoof the system. These aren't even firecrackers, so I'd love to see them be outlawed.

If I were a gang member, I'd have lots of fun spoofing the system - all with an eye toward diverting the police to a very different area than where I'd be planning a big crime. Of course, I'm too moral and boring for that, but its fun to think about it.

saddenedcitizen
June 19, 2006, 01:18 PM
toy for politicians to buy and LEOs to play with that accomplishes NOTHING.
'Hey, we now know that the shot was fired from right here'
So what !
This leads to arrest/conviction exactly how ??
Expect the shooter to hang around and see how long it taks 'authorities' to show up ? Not likely.
As was stated above, these people don't even care if they are seen, so now they're going to be concerned
about being HEARD ?
Somehow I doubt it.

pete f
June 19, 2006, 04:26 PM
The sensors hang from phone poles, and building tops...

In an urban setting, with echos, lots of surfaces for sounds to bounce around on, lots of traffic and other urban noise going on, it is very difficult to point in the direction of a gun shot.

The sound profile of a gunshot is very detectable by the sensors. Spoofing if very difficult. These are not designed to bring cops directly to the exact spot of the shooting, what they do, is speed up police responses. Like having smoke detectors in a building. Once tripped, they call the cops, now. Cops get a three or four block area to look for shooting victims or perps. Maybe the pull up on scene and BG sees cop car and panics and runs, or maybe Cops pull up on shooting area and lo and behold, they see X, Y, and Z. All previously involved in gang activity. Now, cops can claim probably cause to stop and chat with these fellows.

Minneapolis does not have the best record of dealing with crime, but outside of a small criminal element, most of the state is a pretty good place to live. The big time Democratic Liberal experiment is done here.

Almost 20 years since we had a Dem governor. Maybe more. The two bastions of Dem party were the twin cities and the Iron Range unions. They have both lost so much strength that soon we may be a full red state. The failure of the Democrats and the liberal experiment has crushed much of the support that they had. A lot of ex-hippies still live here, futilely believing that spending other peoples tax money on social welfare projects will route out poverty and crime. But lately far more people have started to say, the heck with it, no more money for people who don't contribute. Either you work or leave.

It ain't perfect here, but it really ain't bad either. Lots worse places to live, detroit, chicago, SF, LA, NYC, Boston, Philly, Seattle, all come to
mind,

Sven
June 19, 2006, 09:02 PM
I guess I'd forgotten the experiment was over, because whenever I read the Minneapolis Star Tribune back home, I just about puke. I won't even honor that newspaper by using it for toilet tissue.

DRZinn
June 20, 2006, 10:03 AM
maybe Cops pull up on shooting area and lo and behold, they see X, Y, and Z. All previously involved in gang activity. Now, cops can claim probably cause to stop and chat with these fellows.Or maybe they roll up and think they have probable cause to "stop and chat" with anyone in that area....

m0ntels
June 20, 2006, 11:16 AM
"We're talking about saving lives."

By the time the sensor hears the shot, wont the bullet already be in something?

Randy

lance22
June 20, 2006, 11:39 AM
When I worked in downtown St. Paul, during lunch I saw people deal drugs daily, out in the open, in the same place every day. Every day, the same thugs with baggy pants and dew rags crowding around the same phone booths, harassing people. Cops just drive by, oblivious.

If they REALLY want to deal with crime, why don't they just arrest these thugs who are out in the open? But they buy these expensive toys as if they are searching for crime with a microscope and can barely find any. :banghead:

KnightHawk67
June 20, 2006, 02:09 PM
IIRC They used the same type equipment trying to catch the Columbus Rt 270 shooter. Did not seem to do much good, his family turned him in.

Nortonics
June 20, 2006, 03:14 PM
Great idea. Just another tool too. Lot of people out here don't see the possibilities of such a system. It's an amazing technology that has proven itself in other cities already Not only can it detect the shot to within 75 feet, but it can also determine direction, elevation and azimuth. In this digital age just imagine a 3-dimensional real-time map of an area with all projectiles mapped, and can overlay historical maps for a view of exactly where most activity occurs. Now imagine the ability to take that info in real time and immediately bring up and record from any number of thousands of cameras positioned all around the twin cities that are already in place.

You may think this is science fiction, but it's not. It will work at least to the level indicated above - the military has been using this incredible technology for years with both visual and acoustic weapon fire signatures - ever watch the Discovery Channel, TLC, National Geographic, etc ?. Believe it or not, that cost is a drop in the bucket on the budget - to not embrace this tried and true technology tool for such a low cost would in itself be poor decision.

Some may even argue that it's just another tool for big brother to further monitor it's citizens. To just toss it to the wind and say "how stupid, it'll never work, can't detect between a firecracker and a gun shot, what a waste of money" would certainly be a miscalculated afterthought.

Zen21Tao
June 20, 2006, 03:25 PM
How long before they learn to spoof the detectors with firecrackers or some other means and watch with amusement as several cars are diverted from their regular duties to investigate?

Wow, what a great tool for criminals. Have a guy fire a couple shots in one part of the city then when all the available cops respond his buddies commit their crimes at the other end of town without the fear of being caught by a near by cop.

wheelgunslinger
June 20, 2006, 04:28 PM
Nortonics wrote:
Some may even argue that it's just another tool for big brother to further monitor it's citizens. To just toss it to the wind and say "how stupid, it'll never work, can't detect between a firecracker and a gun shot, what a waste of money" would certainly be a miscalculated afterthought.

JOOC, Nortonics, what's your interest in this subject? You seem awfully informed.

Nortonics
June 20, 2006, 05:32 PM
No particular interest other than living in the Minneapolis metro, along with a career in computer engineering. Interesting, high tech stuff is all...

Jim Diver
June 20, 2006, 06:44 PM
Sounds alot like what Vin Suprynowicz wrote about in The Black Arrow.

BigRobT
June 21, 2006, 02:23 AM
The problem is Minneapolis is far too PC to deal with the actual problems. I work near the Ford Bridge (between Minneapolis and St Paul). The bridge is tagged with numerous gang related graffiti. There have been sever spray paint cans and lids found, turned in and discussion was to not bother with it because it was a waste of time. My feelings are, tackle the gang problem at the lowest level and it'll get their attention. It may also lead to future arrests of higher up gang members. Minneapolis also whines about being undermanned, LEO-wise. The bigger problem is that Minnesota cops, on the whole, just don't do their job very well. They refuse to make the stupid taillight out traffic stops that often lead to arrests of criminals. I could go on and on, but I'll keep it short. Quite hanging out at the local diner and hit the streets. Oh yeah, now MPD has those fancy schmancy Segways. Maybe they will prove to be a benefit, but right now, I see them as an unnecessary tax burden. Oh...... and let's not get into the physical shape of many of the LEOS. Many of these guys I've seen would be on the "fat boy" program were they in the military. They're definitely not representative of how I picture a LEO should be. Should they all be poster boys?? Definitely not. However, they shouldn't be clinically obese, either.

larry_minn
June 21, 2006, 02:28 PM
So they have $350k in money. Couldn't they hire some more Officers. Lets say at $50k each we should have four more Officers and equipment. 200k and 150 for squad cars/training/etc. pay for next year (plus maintenance costs) So they could buy two squad cars/training for it.

wheelgunslinger
June 21, 2006, 05:06 PM
BigRobT wrote:
Oh...... and let's not get into the physical shape of many of the LEOS. Many of these guys I've seen would be on the "fat boy" program were they in the military. They're definitely not representative of how I picture a LEO should be. Should they all be poster boys?? Definitely not. However, they shouldn't be clinically obese, either.

From an article on the KARE 11 website (http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=115625)

Police Sergeant "working his butt off" to help fund Activities League



"... with my size you don't get a lot of grief," says Sergeant Jim Novak.

He's a big man, at least 6-feet-3-inches tall. He has run two Twin Cities Marathons, the last, just fifteen months ago. He's taken a state power lifting championship. He's a fitness instructor for the police department.

Nevertheless, the nine year veteran admits to being "overweight." He plans to lose more than 30 pounds so his sponsors will help fund his passion.

For the last year, Sergeant Novak has been director of the Police Activities League, the Minneapolis police sponsored program for kids.

It's a less active job than his previous street cop assignment.

"The police department donates one police sergeant, two police officers and one police civilian to the Police Activities League," he says, "and we have to raise $200,000 for programming ourselves."

The Police Activities League has a membership list of 1,500 Minneapolis children, mostly inner city youngsters, and gives them experiences they would not ordinarily get to enjoy. For example, more than 200 inner city kids are scheduled to go tubing January 4, at no cost to themselves. The trip will cost the Police Activities League about $2,500.

Sergeant Novak figures if he can get pledges of $250 per pound, and loses 40 pounds, he and his sponsors can fund four similar outings. As of January 3, he had pledges of $219 per pound.

To further the project, he weighed in at the Arena Athletic Club. Witnessed by Police Sergeant Rick Altonen and Arena Personal Trainer Sarah Sillers, he addressed the scale.

"Do you know how high it goes?" he somewhat jokingly asked Sillers.

"Nope," she said.

He stepped up and Sgt Altonen and Sillers peered.

"Shall we say 340.9?" asked Altonen, which sounded good to Sillers.

They duly noted the weight.

"The reason this is important, Sgt. Novak said, "is because I'm using this for fundraising, so the weight has to be verified."

Then Sillers served up a surprise when Sgt. Novak asked how much weight she thought the he could lose in a month, she answered, "Safely, they say two pounds a week... one to two pounds per week."

The Police Activities League Director frowned.

He was planning to lose significantly more than that in a month to help fund his passion. Looks like he's going to be working for a few months.

For more information, please click here

If you'd like to help fund the project, call Sergeant Novak at (612)627-5107. He'll be out tubing Wednesday morning, but he'll get back to you.

You're also welcome to send a donation to:
Police Activities League
1025 Broadway Street NE #48
Minneapolis, MN 55413


By Ken Speake, KARE 11 News

(Copyright 2006 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)"

Big Rob, you could always encourage this guy by donating to his cause.

incidentally, you're not really that far off in your assessment.
Unfortunately, the average life span of an officer is 59 years young. Furthermore, male officers over the age of 50 are twice as likely to acquire diabetes than males in all other occupations - so says UNC Chapel Hill in a 1999 research study. Why do law enforcement officers die of heart disease and acquire other ailments much younger than the general population? The answer is simple......lifestyle choices. Poor diet, smoking and the lack of exercise are a just a few reasons
This (http://www.jus.state.nc.us/NCJA/w-jb-ffle.htm) according to some data gathered by real live scientists shows that cops are literally killing themselves doing the job.
l am, however, encouraged by the number of officers I work out beside and sometimes with, in my gym. There are a lot of very fit officers out there.

Which brings us back to the thread. Why spend 300k on a neato whizbang device that helps pinpoint gunshots if the officers, in general, aren't capable of handling a more dangerous "smoking gun" type of situation that's bound to be more dynamic than if you took the usual hour or two to get there. Perhaps the coffee cans should be put on the back burner in favor of a more pro-active fitness program, the hiring of a couple of trainers, and maybe a dietician?
The listening devices may be a good program, but you can't forget the basics no matter what you're doing.

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