Broward Sheriff Credits ShotSpotter In Arrest Of Two Convicted Felons

Ted Scouten reports the technology allowed deputies to move in quickly and make the arrests along with the seizure of drugs and guns.

Video Transcript

- A show-and-tell from the Broward County Sheriff, after two convicted felons were arrested. Drugs and a stolen gun were found. The Sheriff says ShotSpotter technology allowed his deputies to make this arrest.

CBS4's Ted Scouten's live at BSO headquarters, near Fort Lauderdale, with the details. Ted?

TED SCOUTEN: Hi, Frances. Well, if you don't know what ShotSpotter is, it's actually technology that detects gunfire as it happens. It notifies police and BSO at the moment that it happens. That gets him there actually a lot faster, and in this case, it led to several arrests.

The weekend shooting in Fort Lauderdale, where a six-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy were hit. Shell casings on the ground at a crime scene near Broward Boulevard and Northwest 1st Street a couple of weeks ago. These are two instances where ShotSpotter alerted police and deputies of gunfire well before a call was made to 911.

The latest case was April 3. Two men were arrested and BSO seized guns and drugs. The Aviation Unit was already in the air.

GREGORY TONY: Our Tactical Flight officer got the alert on shotspotter, recognized that there was a shooting going on in a community, and what he did was to operate some of his technology and camera systems to zoom in over two miles away from this shooting and spot the shooter.

TED SCOUTEN: The helicopter was there and cameras rolling as the aftermath unfolded.

OSCAR GONZALEZ: As we kept watching him, he went to the rear area of the backyard, and he went in and dumped the gun, actually underneath the pole right near the fence area. He nonchalantly walked away. He went probably about two or three houses to the west, and he jumped the fence, and he tried to kind of mingle in with a couple of guys in front of the house. We directed our ground units.

TED SCOUTEN: And there were drugs.

OSCAR GONZALEZ: I went ahead and notified the guys and go, "Hey, heads up, guys. There's a guy coming out the back door with a bag." he ended up throwing that bag up on the roof. And about 5, 10 minutes later, he did the same exact thing with a bigger bag. Threw that bag up in the air, again onto the roof. And eventually we retrieved those bags and we found pounds of narcotics, another gun.

TED SCOUTEN: Sheriff Gregory Toney says while this is a great tool, deputies still need people to get involved and call 911.

GREGORY TONY: There's a hollowing effect. There's a complacency that the community grows to accept it. And I'm telling you not to. Do not accept it. It's abnormal. And we do not live in a combat zone.

TED SCOUTEN: And Sheriff Tony says those critical calls to 911 are necessary. They give detectives the details that they wouldn't otherwise have. So he urges people to continue to call 911 when something happens or Broward Crime Stopper. That number, 954-493-TIPS.

Live at BSO headquarters, Ted Scouten, CBS4 News.