Cameras that can hear gunshots will watch over Memphis - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Cameras that can hear gunshots will watch over Memphis

(WMC-TV) - A surveillance camera that can hear and react? It isn't science fiction, it is reality in Memphis.

A few cameras are already watching and listening to what happens on Memphis' streets, but are not yet integrated into operations. And more are coming soon.

A small restaurant that is tucked into the shadows of FedExForum is popular among the lunch crowd, and hungry hoops fans alike.

"Actually, we have our own little spot by ourselves, so it makes it even better," said Stacey Kerr, Lunchbox Eats. "So far, we haven't had any problems. I mean, we see some of the stuff on the news that might've happened in the surrounding area."

Lunchbox Eats sits in the general area where the Memphis Police Department is getting new surveillance cameras that have the technology to detect the sound of a gunshot.

As seen in a demonstration video from YouTube, the camera spins to the location of the gunshot in less than one second. It then charts that location on a map, theoretically capturing the shooter on camera immediately following the gunshot.

Two of the special cameras are already installed downtown, with 10 more coming soon to locations that are yet to be determined.

Each camera will feed directly into Memphis Police Department's real-time crime center, which is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Morris Parker owns and operates Tire Concierge Services, an errand service in town.

"Downtown Memphis is a great place," he said. "Has a lot of soul, a lot of background, a lot of history, and it's a great place to be."

Parker is in support of anything that fosters a safe environment downtown.

"I think it's something that's good. It would be beneficial to the community," he said.

At Lunchbox Eats, everything has a school house theme. Better crime-fighting tools? Well, that's just elementary.

"I believe with those cameras it would just make it a lot easier for everybody, you know, tourists and people who live in the area feel a lot safer," agreed Kerr.

The cameras are not cheap, but MPD says they have not cost taxpayers a dime. The new cameras were paid for with grant money.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. 

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