Gunshots Will Ring Out in These Four Denver Neighborhoods Tonight

Thinkstock file photo
Tonight between 7 and 11 p.m., gunshots will ring out in four different neighborhoods around Denver: Westwood, Villa Park, Clayton and Montbello.

What’s new, you might ask.

The shots will purposely be fired by our boys in blue, as part of a test of the Denver Police Department’s “ShotSpotter” system.

Over the weekend, DPD took to social media to warn residents about the November 6 gunfire tests. Here’s an excerpt from the post:

"Denver Police Department will be conducting live-gunfire testing of the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system. ShotSpotter detects the sound of gunshots and helps DPD to identify the area in which the shots were fired. This exercise will test the current system and does not include any new locations or installations of the system."

The same post later explains that the tests are completely safe and that there is “no danger to the public.

“During the tests, a bullet trap will be used to ensure public safety — no bullets will be fired into the air or ground…The hours of 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. were chosen for testing because the majority of shootings and shots fired occur at night and in the early morning hours, and acoustics are different at night.”

According to DPD, the agency began using the ShotSpotter detection system in 2015, and since then, it has aided officers in the arrests of 96 individuals and recoveries of 78 guns.

Beyond naming the four neighborhoods where shots will be fired tonight, DPD says that it does not reveal the exact locations of ShotSpotter detection devices “to maintain the integrity of the program.”
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Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker