Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S03-19
ShotSpotter Flex Program
Issue Date:05 July 2017Effective Date:05 July 2017
Rescinds:D12-03; S03-19-01
Index Category:Field Operations
This directive:
  • A. informs Department members of the use of the ShotSpotter Flex program as part of the Chicago Police Department Gang Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS).
  • B.satisfies CALEA Law Enforcement Standard Chapter 45.
This program is operational in districts designated by the Department as well as parts of surrounding districts in the ShotSpotter coverage area.
III.General Information
The ShotSpotter Flex program is a wide-area acoustic gunshot detection, alert, and analysis tool. The system delivers critical data and actionable information which will enable Department members to not only respond efficiently to gunfire incidents faster and more safely, but also to enable them to proactively develop effective problem-orientated, data-driven policing strategies and tactical operations using real-time information.
  • A.The ShotSpotter Gunfire Location, Alert, and Analysis Services is intended to enhance the Department's ability to respond effectively to investigate violent crime involving gunfire.
  • B.ShotSpotter incidents will be dispatched from the district's Strategic Decision Support Center (SDSC) to field units through the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). These incidents will be dispatched in accordance to the Department directive entitled "Radio Communications" with an immediate dispatch with the priority of in progress crimes involving the use of a firearm.
    Department members will also be alerted on a Mobile Alert Console, if equipped.
  • C.ShotSpotter's audio sensors will guide field units by:
    • 1.directing responding officers to the location of gunshots;
    • 2.assisting responding officers to quickly identify victims and providing aid; and
    • 3.assisting responding officers in the apprehension of an offender or offenders, and the identification of crime scenes.
  • D.A ShotSpotter alert, by itself, does not give responding Department member(s) the legal authority to enter private property.
  • E.Department members will not use any ShotSpotter Technology (SST) software on any personal electronic devices.
This program will utilize the following equipment:
  • A.multiple collaborative ShotSpotter Flex acoustic sensors.
  • B.ShotSpotter Technology (SST) software such as:
    • 1.Alert Consoles,
    • 2.Investigator Portals, and
    • 3.Mobile Alert Consoles.
  • A.SDSCs will receive, process, and disseminate timely intelligence to field units in order to assist in the location of victims, crime scenes, and possible offenders. Furthermore, SDSCs will use the real-time gunfire intelligence to assist in the effective recommendation for the deployment of Department resources.
  • B.Information Services Division (ISD) will manage and provide direct technical support for the ShotSpotter program.
  • A.Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSCs) will:
    • 1.acknowledge and review information from ShotSpotter Technology (SST) in a timely manner;
    • 2.notify the appropriate OEMC zone and field units of incoming ShotSpotter information;
    • 3.provide the specific detailed location and time of the incident;
    • 4.provide information on the severity of the incident, (e.g., the amount of shots being fired; at what speed and direction a possible offender may be moving);
    • all ShotSpotter information for firearm discharge incidents involving Department members and immediately notify the appropriate on-duty Street Deputy for these incidents;
    • 6.notify ShotSpotter Technology (SST) of any deficiencies, including but not limited to:
      • a.the location of an incident given by SST is inaccurate, or
      • b.a bonafide firearm discharge incident capable of being detected by ShotSpotter's acoustic sensors was never reported by SST.
  • B.Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will:
    • 1.dispatch the event according to OEMC protocol for priority in accordance to the Department directive entitled "Radio Communications";
    • 2.assign the appropriate number of field units based on the severity of the incident;
    • 3.provide information of additional calls of the incident by citizens;
    • 4.upon confirmation of a bonafide shooting incident, dispatch appropriate emergency medical assistance as needed; and
    • 5.enter all pertinent information associated to the event into the PCAD system.
  • C.Responding Department members will:
    • 1.notify OEMC when responding to the scene of a ShotSpotter related incident;
    • 2.take a safe and strategic approach while responding to the incident, being aware that an offender or multiple offenders may be on scene;
    • 3.follow the procedures in the Department directive entitled "Preliminary Investigations";
    • 4.request additional field units for assistance as needed;
    • 5.canvass the precise location identified via the ShotSpotter system for victims, evidence, and witnesses;
      The canvass area recommended by SST is a 25 meter radius (approximately 82 feet) of the precise location given by ShotSpotter information. Department members may canvass beyond the recommended 25 meter radius.
    • 6.notify the SDSC if they are aware of any deficiencies in ShotSpotter data or alerts; and
    • 7.if completing a case report, document if the incident is ShotSpotter related for follow-up investigators.
      For instances involving a bonafide ShotSpotter incident with recoverable evidence found on scene with no apparent offender/victim information, Department members will follow all applicable case reporting and inventory procedures; and when applicable, the procedures delineated in the the Department directive entitled "Firearms Taken into Custody or Turned In."
  • D.Upon a confirmed shooting incident, Bureau of Detectives members will:
    • 1.access the ShotSpotter system via the SST Investigator Portal.
      Bureau of Detectives members will implement ShotSpotter technology when investigating any type of shooting incident involving Department members.
    • 2.replay any audio recording associated with a shooting incident to recreate the crime scene, including the timeline of rounds discharged, and determine the likely number of offenders;
    • 3.for investigation and prosecution purposes, if necessary:
      • a.access and extract incident data,
      • b.acquire detailed forensic reports, and
      • c.evaluate and present incident data in preparation for prosecution.
  • E.Crime Analysis
    • 1.Strategic Decision Support Centers will:
      • a.access the information accumulated by the ShotSpotter Flex acoustic sensors to identify:
        • (1)potential gun violence related trends,
        • (2)crime patterns, and
        • (3)any specific locations which have a high amount of gunfire incidents.
      • b.disseminate the information to the district commander and executive officer to implement an appropriate strategic response which may include, but is not limited to:
        • (1)follow-up investigations,
        • (2)patrol missions,
        • (3)assistance from specialized units or agencies (e.g.; parole/probation compliance checks, covert missions),
        • (4)the utilization of resources available from the area gang strategy meeting as delineated in the Department directive entitled "Area Gang Strategy Meeting," and
        • (5)the implementation of the Gang Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) as delineated in the Department directive entitled "Gang Violence Reduction Strategy."
    • 2.Districts utilizing the ShotSpotter program will include any crime analysis information and strategic response related to gunfire incidents detected by the ShotSpotter Flex acoustic sensors within their Compstat statistical summary.
Authenticated by: KC
Eddie T. Johnson
Superintendent of Police
16-122 RCL/KT