El Paso Police Department
New Initiative: Fire Fly Gunshot Detection System
The Grants Division provides sound financial management to promote efficient and effective use of PD grant funds. During fiscal year 2021, the El Paso Police Department received $8.9 million in grants that helped support a wide range of law enforcement activities, including funds that helped address the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Grant Division is made up of one accountant, two project accountants, a senior accountant, a senior planner, and a grant project manager. The Grants Division is responsible for seeking grant funding, preparing grant applications, monitoring programs to ensure grant compliance, accounting for expenditures, and preparing reimbursement requests. Records Grants During 2021, the Records Division continued its
The El Paso Police Department, in recent years, has taken great steps in addressing crime. However, the EPPD is still lacking technological resources that would aid law enforcement in properly addressing gun crime within the city. Gun-related crime, for the most part, is usually addressed when officers are dispatched to the scene. Unfortunately, this is a reactive component of law enforcement. In order to keep up with the ever-changing criminal landscape, law enforcement needs to approach the problem by being strategically and tactically intelligent in their responses. The El Paso Police Department has taken steps in addressing gun crime by most recently forming the Department’s first National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) program that was established in 2019. In collaboration with the Ballistics Intelligence Unit (B.I.U.), a dedicated FUSION analyst has been assigned to review crime data and relay any workable audible detections to the B.I.U. Fire Fly is a gunshot geolocation system. This system is composed of several gunshot sensors that send a notification within 30 seconds of a gunshot taking place. Fire Fly provides law enforcement agencies the capability to pinpoint the location of a suspected shooting event in real time. The Fire Fly system requires three sensors in order to triangulate the sound and provide a location. These sensors triangulate the sound and location by latitude, longitude, and altitude. It will then send a notification to Communications and Watch officers within 30 seconds of detecting a gunshot. A 911 Communications supervisor and Watch officers will review the notification and decide if deployment of resources is necessary. If detection is located within a pre-established geofence, the proximity of accuracy can range up to 5ft. If the notification is approximately a mile away, the proximity drops to 50 yards of accuracy, which is still highly accurate. Fire Fly is expected to help improve response time and assist in locating possible evidence. During the pilot program phase in November 2021, just 16 days into the program going live, an audio detection was received by the El Paso Fusion Center Watch section. The audio captured a car speeding and several screams followed by gun shots. The Watch alerted dispatch and a unit was dispatched to the suspected location. Officers were dispatched and upon arrival the officers observed a vehicle attempting to flee the scene. The officers called out and immediately requested the assistance of a second unit due to the nature of the call. Further investigation revealed that the subjects had in fact been discharging a 9mm weapon out in the desert and were attempting to flee the scene prior to the officers’ arrival.
in Federal Grants in State Grants in Foundation Grants Total Grants
$6,184,042 $2,640,177 $80,750 $8,904,969
with a sustained call answer rate of 99.76% of the 39,384 calls received. In the months of October and November, we achieved a call answer rate of 100%. Both the waiting time for callers and the amount of abandoned (unanswered) calls were decreased. The specially trained TRU personnel processed information from the calls into 16,547 concise police incident reports. The completion of these reports reduced uniformed officers’ need to respond to non-emergency calls, providing more officers available to respond to higher priority incidents.
outstanding support to the El Paso Police Department, local and distant Law Enforcement Agencies, and the public as a whole. Throughout the year, and despite the pandemic, records specialists and telephone report takers and our two police officers, worked safely and successfully from Department offices without telecommuting. The division guided the entire Department in completing the transition to the new automated Records Management System (OnCall RMS). Two of the five public records counters remained open and operational; implementing credit card payments for the first time ever using the Clover automated system. All applicants for City positions receiving an initial job offer received a background check at the Records Office, and fingerprints for CJIS clearances were electronically submitted to the State directly from our office, replacing the contracted service at the local FAST site in town. The Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU) had an exceptional year of improved customer service
Outside Agency Requests District Attorney Requests Open Record Requests Subpoenas Received & Processed Court Appearances in Person Court Appearances via Zoom Requests for Crash Reports via US Mail Requests for Incident Reports via US Mail Requests for Incident Reports from the TX Attorney General via US mail Calls Handled by the Telephone Reporting Unit Reports Completed by the Telephone Reporting Unit
8,370 368 7,305 150 1 6 477
By utilizing a gun detection system, it provides instantaneous notifications to the officers as opposed to the usual route of the call taker answering the call, then routing the call to the appropriate dispatcher, and finally dispatching a unit. This is an innovative approach to responding to gun crime and it enables officers to recover and preserve valuable evidence. In order to properly address gun-related crime, the El Paso Police Department will be focusing on preventive, proactive, and enforcement components. Areas selected are determined based on crime data that is provided by the El Paso Fusion Center. The Fire Fly system provides EPPD with timely information about a gunfire incident, promptly deploying resources with the goal of mitigating emerging threats involving the misuse of firearms. Additionally, several pole cameras are expected to be strategically placed within the project areas. Watch personnel will be responsible to monitor live feed & review video. In the event a gunshot is detected, we anticipate to capture critical video evidence. The implementation of this program is expected to assist in the apprehension of potential offenders and collection of critical evidence that would ultimately assist in prosecution. Fire Fly’s ultimate goal is to reduce the potential for injuries, property damage, and loss of life due to the misuse of firearms.
2021 Annual Report
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