The Winston-Salem Police Department was recently awarded $699,608 through a U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance grant opportunity. The grant opportunity was a competitive open-bid solicitation available to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. The Winston-Salem Police Department was one of eight agencies nationwide selected to receive funding under the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) FY 19 Local Law Enforcement Crime Gun Intelligence Center Integration Initiative grant opportunity.
The grant award is designed to enhance the Winston-Salem Police Department Violent Firearm Investigations Team's capabilities in investigating gunfire incidents. The award will be used to fund an urban gunfire detection system over a three-year period of deployment. The City is in the process of formally accepting the grant award with one of the initial steps including the formal approval of the award by the City Council which was unanimously approved last night. Under this grant award, the City has no obligation for matching funds.
Gunfire detection systems utilize an array of acoustic sensors to detect, identify, and triangulate the source of impulsive sounds that may represent gunfire within a designated detection area. The GDS then verifies and authenticates the acoustic signal to classify the event as possible gunfire before automatically reporting the incident to local law enforcement - usually within seconds of the event. Use of a GDS will aid in reducing response time for officers and allow for more accurate location reporting of such incidents.