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Denver police to calibrate gunshot detection system Monday night

DPD is testing its recently-expanded Shot Spotter system from 6 p.m. to midnight in downtown and West Denver.

DENVER — If you hear gunshots in downtown or West Denver on Monday night, it could be because of a test the Denver Police Department (DPD) is conducting.

The department will conduct live-gunfire tests between 6 p.m. and midnight to calibrate its recently-expanded Shot Spotter system, which detects when a gun is fired and where it happens. The system then alerts police so that officers can respond to the area quickly.

The tests will consist of a sequence of gunshots followed by validation of sound detection by the system. No bullets will be fired into the air or ground, and there is no danger to the public, DPD said.

"By quickly notifying police with precise information, the system helps to speed police response, has the potential to save the lives of shooting victims, increases weapons-related arrests, and enhances neighborhood safety," DPD said in a news release. 

Shot Spotter is a system that DPD has been using since early 2015. It captures and triangulates the sound of gunfire and pinpoints the location of where a gun went off to within 25 feet.

The Shot Spotter system expanded to downtown Denver in July, making it the fifth area in the city to be served the technology. The expansion is part of DPD's comprehensive gun violence reduction strategy.

The department said the technology has already been effective in other areas of Denver. Since early 2015, system alerts have resulted in 220 arrests and 173 firearms recovered.

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