Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Stupid Security in Boston

Caught this linked at SayUncle.

First thing that ran through my mind is that this thing is going to be so simple to screw with. False positive rates are going to have the police ign0ring this thing in short order.
Boston city councilors, law enforcement officials, and community leaders are pressing City Hall to come up with $1.5 million to buy a promising acoustic gunshot-detection system.

The sensor system could blanket a 5.6-square-mile swath of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods -- the source of 80 to 85 percent of calls citywide reporting shots fired -- and give officers a jump on arresting suspects, improve police response time to 911 calls, and possibly reduce firearm violence, proponents say.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said he believes the technology would help prosecutors win more gun cases and would require a "relatively modest investment," given the city's $2 billion annual budget.

"Police would be able to get the scene quickly and perhaps apprehend someone fleeing the scene, or identify someone who actually saw something," Conley said in an interview yesterday. "It would also corroborate witness testimony."
This one is just frightening. Let's start with that 5.6 square mile part. That's a huge amount of property. How many police actively patrol this area? Will they be able to respond efficiently? Criminals don't generally fire a gun and then stand around waiting for the police to arrive. If anything this will give them more incentive to act and then run.

Then there is the ways to screw with the machine. I'm going to bet that the machine has some method of telling the difference between a gun shot and fireworks, but how effective is that? I'm certain they'll find out when there is a rash of fireworks use after the installation. Criminals could also easily drive along and fire a couple of quick shots in one area and drive to where they intend to do the crime. The police run to the first reported incident and try to figure out what happened while the real thing is occurring elsewhere.

SayUncle even points to the use of suppressors which could easily be made and utilized. Depends on the intent and drive of the criminal.

It could help in the case of a legal usage of a gun, but if the criminal has attempted to send the police on a goose chase first, then it won't help at all.

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