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Staggered Deployment of Gunshot Detection Technology in Chicago, IL: A Matched Quasi-experiment of Gun Violence Outcomes

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: Online Dated: 2024
Date Published
March 2024

This article describes a research study that examined potential effects of gunshot detection technology across an expanding target area from 2012 to 2018 in Chicago, Illinois; it indicates that GDT had no effect on fatal or non-fatal shootings, part I gun crimes, or shots fired for service; and it discusses implications of the study results for future research and policy practice relevant to law enforcement technologies.


The authors examine the potential effects of gunshot detection technology longitudinally in Chicago through a synthetic control quasi-experiment. Police districts receiving gunshot detection technology were compared to a synthetic control unit via a staggered difference-in-difference design. Across eleven unique gunshot detection technology deployment phases, the analyses produce results for aggregate, initial versus expanded, and phase-specific deployment effects across five gun-violence outcome measures. Gunshot detection technology had no effect on fatal shootings, non-fatal shootings, general part I gun crimes, or shots fired calls for service. Gun recoveries significantly increased in the aggregate, initial, and expanded models, and in several individual phases relative to controls. The results align with prior literature that has found a procedural benefit, but not a crime prevention benefit, of gunshot detection technology. Law enforcement agencies seeking crime prevention or reduction solutions may be better served by investing in other options. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: March 1, 2024