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Gunshot Detection Systems: Considerations for Prosecutors

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2023
17 pages

This publication provides prosecutors with an overview of gunshot detection systems (GDS).


In this publication, the National Resource & Technical Assistance Center for Improving Law Enforcement Investigations and the National Policing Institute provide an overview of gunshot detection systems (GDS) for prosecutors. Reliable GDS evidence can be an important part of a criminal case. It has been admitted in nearly 200 hearings and has both inculpated and exonerated people accused of crime. When GDS technology alerts police to a crime in progress, it may be the only notice police receive that a shooting has occurred. GDS notifications can save lives through quicker response times and can help the police to find suspects, victims, witnesses, and other evidence. However, prosecutors seeking admission of GDS evidence must understand the scientific foundation of the technology, determine that it is accurate, and be prepared for legal objections. This is an evolving area where preparation by prosecutors is essential, as their work will impact the future admissibility of GDS evidence.

Date Published: September 1, 2023