The technology uses acoustic sensors to detect gunfire and then triangulates the location that the gunfire took place. Police can then be accurately dispatched to the location and respond much quicker than they would the old fashioned way, when someone picks up a phone and calls. Of course, in many cities, the old fashioned way is getting to be awfully hit and miss.
If nothing else, ShotSpotter has made it clear how much unreported gunfire takes place on city streets. In many high-crime urban neighborhoods, gunshots are a counterpoint to daily life, “as common as the birds chirping,” as Commander Mikail Ali of the San Francisco Police Department put it. But whether out of apathy, fear or uncertainty, people call the police in only a fraction of cases.I think most cops can come up with examples of incidents where they've responded to a shooting only to discover that the problem had occurred some time past and no one had bothered to call. In the sleepy little burg where I work, it's not unusual to get a call from the hospital reporting a shooting victim and to find out that no one at the scene of the shooting bothered to call.
Would you consider using gunshot detection technology in your community if it were available and you could afford it?