Leaked data shows ShotSpotter locations in Albuquerque

Leaked data shows ShotSpotter locations in Albuquerque

Wired Magazine posted a map of all the ShotSpotter locations nationwide over the weekend based on a leaked report.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Wired posted a map of all the ShotSpotter locations nationwide over the weekend based on a leaked report.

It’s a pretty dense network, with more than 700 reported units across the city, but only in certain areas.

The International District, downtown, the North Valley, and the West Side are all thoroughly covered. But people can notice there’s almost no coverage north of Montgomery and Montaño boulevards.

KOB 4 spoke with Albuquerque Police Department leaders to try and confirm if this map is accurate. But, it turns out, they can’t.

“We don’t know, technically, where all the sensors are. Well, we know it accomplishes what we needed to accomplish, which is detect gunshot fire with accuracy,” said APD Public Information Officer Gilbert Gallegos. 

Gallegos says the department only tells the company behind ShotSpotter where they want coverage. Then, the company goes out to place the sensors, so APD doesn’t even have a full map of ShotSpotter locations.

Gallegos says APD requested coverage based on crime data, so that’s why neighborhoods up and down Central appear to have more sensors.

“This is based on data and where the gun violence is. In the way we look at it is, you’re not just looking at the gun offenders, but you’re looking at the victims of gun violence. So I think the victims of gun violence deserve our attention and our investments in technology that works,” said Gallegos. 

Gallegos says APD is very satisfied with the ShotSpotter program. Just last year, APD data shows there were more than 14,000 ShotSpotter activations across the city — almost 40 a day. Out of those activations, officers located 78 suspects, and they also located 215 gunshot victims.

Not everyone is happy, Chicago city leaders are pushing to get rid of their ShotSpotter program, arguing it’s too expensive and ineffective.

According to the company’s website, it costs up to $90,000 to cover a square mile per year.

Gallegos suggested the program only works in Albuquerque because officers are using it along with other technology in the field.

“There’s been questions from other municipalities about, you know, is it worth it, you know, in terms of number of turning the tide to number of arrests, but we don’t look at it that way. It’s that in addition to all the other technology working together, and I think that’s what we’ve had a huge benefit maybe over some other cities,” said Gallegos. 

State lawmakers just approved another $500,000 to expand the ShotSpotter program, and that’s on top of the rough $5 million already invested.

Gallegos says APD is most interested in bringing more sensors to the Montgomery area, and Coronado and Cottonwood malls.