What’s My Excuse

I’m sure everybody who reads this site regularly is wondering what my excuse is for having no real updates for three days. My excuse is simple, my company sent me down to the ASIS International security trade who in Dallas, TX. Let me tell you there was some cool stuff there as well. I talked to representatives from Shot Spotter, Insight, Secure Shield, several bullet-resistant armor manufacturers, and a couple of firearms training companies.

I’m not going to go into detail on everything I learned but I will say the who is very interesting and certainly an authoritarian’s wet dream come true (I’d bet there were more cameras on display there than setup on the streets of London).

Since the Shot Spotter technology interested me most (as that system is setup in Minneapolis) I’ll post what I learned there. First and foremost all this talk about the system being able to tell the difference between a 9mm, .40, and .45 is malarkey. The system can tell the difference between a handgun and rifle but it can’t tell you what caliber was used.

The system also don’t work by detecting sound as I originally thought. The Shot Spotter system detects shock waves emanating from firearms and explosives. When a shock wave is detected the system used 16 criteria (which the company representative wouldn’t go into detail on) to determine what the source of the disturbance was. Shot Spotter also has an API which can be used to tie things such as cameras into. This was recently used in Minneapolis when the system picked up gunfire several cameras in the area were turned automatically towards the source via the Shot Spotter API.

I was surprised at how few sensors were needed to cover Minneapolis. Only 16 (seems to be a popular number with this system) sensors are spread throughout Minneapolis and seem to have good coverage. From what I’ve learned it seems firearms with a lesser shock wave would be more difficult to detect. I’m wondering about rounds that don’t surpass the sound barrier or firearms equipped with suppressors would be detected correctly.

Either way it was an interesting show.

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