Flock Safety Raven® Audio Detection Device Gives Albany Police Department Actionable Crime Data and an Investigative Edge
July 14, 2023
The Albany Police Department (APD) has made significant strides toward reducing gun violence and expediting investigations with Flock Safety Raven® audio detection device. The department began using the technology in March 2023 and has reported positive results, including faster response times, more accurate crime data, investigative efficiency, and gun crime deterrence. The data provided by the device has helped the department uncover more information about gun violence in the community, allowing them to staff patrol more effectively and advocate for additional resources.
PROBLEM: Albany community members don’t report gunfire, so cases go unsolved.
APD relied on 911 calls to alert them of gunshots before they adopted Flock Safety's gunshot detection technology. Many residents are unwilling to report gunfire to the police, which means that the department is not always aware of all the gun violence occurring in the community. If gunshots were reported to 911, the dispatching process added several minutes to the police response. As a result, suspects would flee, critical evidence would be lost, and case decay would set in. The department sought a solution that would help them detect and locate gunshots and victims more quickly, preserve critical evidence, and identify suspect vehicle leads.
SOLUTION: Scalable gunshot detection for real-time evidence.
APD chose Flock Safety Raven® audio detection for gunshot detection because of its affordability, speed of installation, and integrated LPR evidence. The technology allows law enforcement officers to detect and locate gunshots and victims within 90 feet, providing an audio clip of the gunfire, timestamp, and the ability to search vehicles surrounding the crime scene perimeter with integrated LPR search capabilities.
Flock Safety Raven® audio detection has helped the Albany Police Department uncover30% more gunfire in the community than previously believed.
With the data provided by FlockOS ®, Flock Safety’s cloud-based software platform, the department has identified several key locations where gunfire is concentrated, allowing them to staff patrol more effectively. The data can also be used in the future to apply for grants or advocate for additional funding. Flock Safety Raven® audio detection has also helped deter crime by decreasing response times. Officers can quickly get on the scene and make their presence known, leading to an increased likelihood of suspects calling the police before firing a weapon. As David Sparks, the Senior Crime & Intel Analyst at the Albany Police Department, put it, “if you’re firing a gun, you’re calling the police.” The devices have also led to several investigative wins for the department. In one instance, a shots-fired alert led to the apprehension of a suspect who wouldn't admit to shooting a firearm. Investigators presented him with the timestamp, recording, and location of the shots detected by the Flock Safety Raven® audio detection device system, which corroborated witness accounts. This gave investigators an “edge,” proving that the suspect was there, which led the suspect to confess.
"If you’re firing a gun, you’re calling the police.
Senior Crime & Intel Analyst | Albany Police Dept
The Albany Police Department plans to continue using Flock Safety Raven® audio detection device.
In another instance, the Flock Safety Raven® alerted officers to a homicide scene before a 911 call came through to dispatch. The alert expedited response, confirmed the investigative timeline, and helped investigators define the crime scene perimeter. This prevented case decay by enabling officers to secure the scene and preserve critical evidence.
While the homicide investigation is ongoing, the layered evidence, including location, audio recording, and shell casings recovered from the scene, will help support a conviction and bring justice to the victim's family once an arrest is made.
David Sparks, the Senior Crime & Intel Analyst at the Albany Police Department, noted, "Yes, these are just small pieces to the puzzle now, but it could be one of these puzzle pieces that make the case airtight.”
Moving forward, the Albany Police Department plans to continue using Flock Safety Raven® audio detection device and further integrate the data provided by the devices into their investigations and policing strategies.
"Yes, these are just small pieces to the puzzle now, but it could be one of these puzzle pieces that make the case airtight