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Gunshot Detection Systems in Civilian Law Enforcement

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Motivated by the fact that more than thirty thousand firearm homicides occur on the American continent every year, law enforcement agencies have been deploying gunshot detection systems to reduce the use of illegal firearms in high-crime urban areas. This article provides a comprehensive review of gunshot detection technologies, including commercially available systems and current research. Discussions consider the following: (1) the acoustic signatures of small firearms, (2) muzzle blast waves and their propagation in outdoor spaces, (3) history of gunshot detection, (4) gunshot-detection methods, (5) electroacoustic-sensor methods, (6) firearm identification, (7) shooter localization in urban environments, and (8) hit-rate analysis. Given the current status of gunshot detection technology, there are a number of technical issues that remain unaddressed and merit research and development. Quantifying the efficacy of gunshot detection in reducing firearm violence and crime is difficult given the available research in this field.

JAES Volume 63 Issue 4 pp. 280-291; April 2015
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