The Washington Post recently published a lengthy and fascinating look at ShotSpotter, a technology the Metropolitan Police Department uses to locate where gunshots were heard. And the news isn't good if you live in Park View or Petworth.
Basically, different sensors around the city listen for gunshots and the attempt to triangulate their location so police can respond quickly. The Post's analysis includes info on how the system works, how the police use it, when shootings happen and more, but one of the most interesting parts is the interactive map of density of detected gunshots. And it turns out that Park View or Petworth and one of the densest areas in the city for gunshots -- the other dense areas are Trinidad, parts of Southwest, and a few areas east of the river.
The densest area in our neck of the woods seems to extend from about 13th and Quincy southeast to Warder and Irving, with less dense (but still fairly high) areas extending radially from there. It's a little scary, seeing as how many there are in our area. Most of Columbia Heights is in the blue area, meaning 200-350 detected gunshots since 2009.
The article also tracks when they happen, which is mostly at night, centered on midnight, and what time of the year.
It's sort of an interesting counterpoint to my post about if you think Columbia Heights is safe. I still think it is safe, and I bet most of these are targeted shootings but it's still very worrisome and something I want to look into further. We should figure out how as a community we can stop this trend.
UPDATE: Councilman Jim Graham forwarded me an email from MPD Chief Cathy Lanier, who notes that many of the reports were heard but not verified to actually be gunshots -- so some may be false positives. Maybe they were fireworks or some other sound.