Don’t panic, Mpls – gunshots tonight are only a test

If you hear a barrage of gunfire in Minneapolis tonight, you probably don’t need to hit the deck. Police will be blasting off rounds in two neighborhoods to calibrate the ShotSpotter system that allows the department pinpoint when and where shots are fired in the city.

Here’s more detail from the Minneapolis Police Department:

The MPD will be conducting a calibration test of ShotSpotter technology tonight, Monday, September 23rd in Minneapolis. Testing will occur at approximately 7:00pm in the 4th Precinct, Folwell neighborhood and at 8:15pm in the 3rd Precinct, Central neighborhood. 

Calibration tests are done periodically to increase the effectiveness of the gunfire detection system.  25-50 shots will be fired tonight during the testing.  The calibration requires officers to live-fire handguns in predetermined locations that will allow for maximum effectiveness of the system.  A bullet trapping system is utilized that is designed to safely absorb bullets fired at a very close range.  All firing will be done by our range officers in a very controlled manner, designed to assure the highest level of safety.

911 and patrol staff are aware of the testing and this test will not impact 911 calls or patrol response. There is no media availability.

Unfortunately, the sound of gunfire in Minneapolis isn’t usually just a test. As this ShotSpotter-generated map from earlier this month shows, the real thing is all too common.

City of Minneapolis image