The final test of Shotspotter technology could happen Thursday night in Huntington Station, moving the program another step closer to operation.
Robert Anthony Moore, chief of department of the , said that after the test, “They will do fine tuning. At that point, we hope that within the next three weeks it will be online."
The test would involve police firing off a gun to verify the sensors’ accuracy and ability to correctly report the sound and location to computers, he said.
“It’s a very sophisticated system," he said. "There are areas that have a lot of industry, such as drills, nail guns. They have to adjust the sensors to the area.”
Suffolk County is spending more than $450,000 to lease the technology for parts of Huntington Station and four other communities where crime has riled residents and spurred demands for a crackdown. Moore said about 100 sensors are deployed across the five communities using the system.
Getting Shotspotter into operation entailed a laborious process of negotiation as the system shifted from a purchase to a leasing arrangement. “With Suffolk, they’re trying something new, leasing the equipment. They’re the ones putting everything in place, getting requisite permissions. Every time they asked us, we’d respond. When they were looking for best places, we went to whoever the host was going to be and ask them to accommodate.”
Asked about the value of the program, Moore said, “You know, no one’s sure. It’s new technology. But we’re very close with Nassau, they love it, we think it’s going to be useful.”
Moore said Shotspotter will reveal with great accuracy where shots are coming from, and show what changes might be needed to make an area safer. “Are there lights in the area? Is there a lot of foliage where people can hide?” Moore said.
“We’re close with Nassau County police,” Moore said. “They love it."
Moore noted that the technology could annoy provide information after a gun has been fired and not prevent anything. But he's optimistic.
“It’s been a haul,” Moore said. “But it’s pretty exciting.”
News of the test came a day after another exchange of words between Suffolk County Majority Leader and County Executive Steve Levy as both are winding down their terms in office.
Cooper, whose includes the site of a triple shooting on Sunday, said a lack of police computer equipment had delayed the program’s implementation and blamed Levy for a lack of leadership.
Levy disputed several of Cooper's comments and called Cooper a publicity seeker.