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Cambridge police to test ShotSpotter system tonight

The Cambridge police will conduct live-fire training tonight to test the city’s new gunshot detection system, police said.

Cambridge recently implemented the ShotSpotter Flex system across 1.25 square miles in Cambridge, stretching across the neighborhoods of mid-Cambridge, Inman Square, Riverside, Area 4, and Cambridgeport, to the border of Somerville, said police spokesman Jeremy Warnick. These areas historically have a higher instance of gun violence, Warnick said.

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The ShotSpotter system detects and locates the source of a gunshot and immediately notifies police. The location of the shots can be found in less than a minute with ShotSpotter, the Cambridge police website said.

The system will help police expedite their response time to shootings, Warnick said.

Tonight’s controlled testing of the ShotSpotter will be in closed-off areas in the Area 4 and Inman Square neighborhoods between 8 and 10 p.m., Warnick said.

The tests will be conducted under controlled circumstances, and will present no danger to the public, the police website said.

Cambridge received a two-year grant for the ShotSpotter system as a part of the Urban Areas Security Initiative through the Department of Homeland Security. A similar system has also been recently implemented in Somerville, Revere, Everett, and Chelsea, Warnick said. Boston has had it for a number of years.

Since its initial implementation on June 30, the system has already been a help, assisting the police in the investigation of a shooting in early July, Warnick said.

Trisha Thadani can be reached at her on Twitter @TrishaThadani.
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