RANTOUL, Ill., (WCIA) — New technology is helping one police department in Champaign County identify gunshots faster. Rantoul has had license plate readers to help solve crimes, but now, new sensors are the most recent addition to the toolbox to help keep you safe.
They’re called Raven gunshot sensors. They’re attached to light poles and have a solar panel on top.
When the system hears a gunshot, it alerts officers and 911 dispatchers within 30-60 seconds.
“Historically, people have to call 911, call the dispatcher, they have to dispatch us and there could be a 1 to 2 minute gap in there before we respond,” Bouse said.
Justin Bouse, Rantoul’s Deputy Chief, said it can pinpoint the location within 90 feet. It can also give some idea behind what kind of weapon was fired.
In the end, he said it’s all about safety in the community.
“Gunshots, historically, are underreported,” Bouse said. “Whether people think it’s fireworks or something like that, they’re not reported. Like 20% of gunshots are called in, this technology will hear that and give an over 90% accuracy rate.”
He also said the sensors work with license plate readers, identifying any vehicles in the area where shots are fired.
Bouse knows every minute matters, and this will help them respond to calls faster.
The company started installing them this week, and they’ll cover a large area on the east side of Rantoul. Bouse said they plan to start using the sensors April 1.