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Field Evaluation of the System for the Effective Control of Urban Environment Security (SECURES): Final Report on the Dallas Field Trial

NCJ Number
Date Published
152 pages
SECURES (System for the Effective Control of Urban Environment Security) is described as a technologically advanced acoustic sensing system capable of identifying, discriminating, and reporting gunshots within a second of a shot being fired.
The developers of SECURES claim the technology can increase police response time by 85 percent, increase the apprehension rate of shots fired by offenders by 40 percent, and increase the survivability rate of gunshot victims by 50 percent. Approximately 80 pole units are required to cover a one square mile area at a cost of about $5,500 per month to lease a system. The use of SECURES was evaluated in Oak Cliff, Texas because of the city's high incidence of random gunfire. The field test involved the installation of 86 pole units on utility poles; 75 police units were erected at intersections, 9 were in alleys, and 2 were on streets in the target area. Between October 25, 1996 and December 16, 1996, 215 alleged gun shots were identified by the SECURES technology. Of the 215 alerts, 23 or 10.7 percent could be matched against a citizen call about a shot fired. The police responded to 151 alerts and 39 citizen calls about random gunfire. An examination of call data indicated police dispatchers took longer on average to dispatch a SECURES-identified call (17.88 minutes) than a citizen-identified call (13.25 minutes). Police officers also took longer to arrive on the scene of a SECURES-identified call (24.41 minutes) than a citizen-identified call (17.78 minutes) about random gunfire. Police officers did not believe SECURES technology increased apprehension or survival rates, although they indicated SECURES helped them focus on random gunfire hot spots. Additional information on the SECURES field evaluation in Oak Cliff is provided in nine appendixes. 44 references, 19 tables, and 1 figure

Date Published: January 1, 1999