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West Palm Beach Police Department using ShotSpotter to detect celebratory gunfire

'Gunfire is illegal and what goes up must come down,' officer says
Posted at 9:58 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 23:55:50-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — West Palm Beach Police Department Sgt. Joe Myers is going door to door with his team in West Palm Beach.

"Today we're out just educating the public within the city in reference to celebratory gunfire, the dangers of it," he said.

Sgt. Myers said knocking on doors and getting that face-to-face interaction really helps make a difference.

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"Over the last year or so we've had for New Year's Eve gunfire goes off," he said.

The risk is real when it comes to stray bullets to ring in the new year. That's where a critical piece of technology can help.

The West Palm Beach Police Department uses a "ShotSpotter." The system can detect gunshots anywhere in the city. Since going live in 2018, celebratory gunfire has gone down 48% and incidents involving bullets are down 62%.

"That's nice, that's a nice thing," Miclaude Ace said.

Ace said he knows the danger. He's seen the damage that can be done by stray bullets fired during New Year's celebrations.

"One day I remember it was New Year's and I went to my roof, and I see a bullet in my roof. I didn't even know where it came from," said Ace.

Sgt. Myers said people need to understand that gunfire is illegal and what goes up, must come down.

Sgt. Myers went on to say stray bullets can cause property damage to fatal injuries.

He said going door to door is one way of trying to keep the community safe.