Denver police firing live shots Friday night to test gunfire tracking system

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DENVER -- If you hear gunshots in your Denver neighborhood between 8 p.m. and midnight on Friday, it could be just a test.

Denver police is firing off live rounds around the city to test the expansion of their ShotSpotter system. The system uses sensors to track gunfire locations.

“When a gun is fired it uses a process similar to triangulation and it’s able to detect within a few feet of where that gunfire emanates,” Denver Police Cmdr. Marcus Fountain said.

The ShotSpotter system has been in use in east Denver for the past year. To date, police said it has detected about 1,600 gunshots, set off 450 alerts and led to approximately 30 arrests.

“It gives us the ability to get officers in the area much more quickly that way we can apprehend suspects or get to victims if there are victims,” Fountain said.

Testing is taking place in the late hours because police said the acoustics change depending on the time of the day and the late night/early morning hours are when most shootings occur.

Police ensure the testing is safe. The areas are completely cordoned off before testing a location and all live gunshot rounds are caught into a trap.

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