ShotSpotter provides real-time gunfire alerts to law enforcement using acoustic sensors placed on buildings that can distinguish gunshot sounds from other loud sounds and triangulate on their precise location. The system is used in more than 100 cities in the United States and abroad. Nationally, only 20% of gunshots are called in to 911 by the community. This means police do not know about most incidents. ShotSpotter fills the data gap by alerting police to nearly all gunshot incidents and providing a precise location within 30 seconds of trigger pull. This transformational technology enables police to respond much faster to crime scenes to render aid to victims, interview witnesses and find evidence.
ShotSpotter alerts are sent to police smartphones and mobile computers in their patrol cars. The alerts contain the nearest street address, the number of rounds fired, and critical tactical information such as whether there are multiple shooters or an automatic weapon is being used which helps police approach the crime scene more strategically and safely.
The mission at ShotSpotter is about making a difference in this increasingly violent world: "Earn the trust of law enforcement to help them provide equal protection for all and strengthen police- community relationships, ultimately reducing gun violence." This mission is the driving force of the company and has a huge, positive impact on the employees and the type of people who are attracted to the organization.
When people feel they are making a big impact on the world at work, they are more passionate, energized and supportive. "We all want to make the world a safer place," said Sam Klepper, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy. "That's the common thread between us. It's why we're here."
The people who work at ShotSpotter believe in the work they do and strive daily to have a positive impact on other people's well being. They're excited about the potential to save lives. Through problem solving, innovation and creative thinking, ShotSpotter team members are able to accomplish just that. The ShotSpotter team is collaborative and everyone works together to accomplish the mission of the company. Through collaboration, great ideas are born at ShotSpotter. In addition, the corporate culture is very similar to that of a startup. Everyone is moving quickly and getting things done.
Just last year, ShotSpotter released a company-wide survey to measure if employees were happy with the culture. Of those who answered the survey, 89% said it's a great place to work.
A whopping 99% said they were proud to tell others they work at ShotSpotter and that they felt good about the ways the company contributes to the community.
As for the question of whether employees feel a sense of pride when they look at what they accomplish, 95% said they did. And 94% said that when they joined the company, they immediately felt welcome. Last, but not least, 91% said they feel like they personally make a difference by working at ShotSpotter.
At ShotSpotter there are numerous stories where the technology was instrumental in helping to save a victim. Early in Klepper's tenure, the company's technology had just gone live in a new city. Within a few hours, the first alert went off. The police were able to quickly locate a gunshot wound victim, call an ambulance and save that person's life. "It was a dramatic result that was aided by our technology," Klepper said. "It made me feel proud that I was working at ShotSpotter and that we could have that kind of tangible impact."
Police officers in Greenville, N.C. said they experienced a significant decrease in gun violence after implementing ShotSpotter in their city for a year. Gun violence injuries were down 33% in 2019 compared to 2018. "It gives us a sense of satisfaction to make the world a safer place," said Hazel Belasco, Director of Human Resources. "Whether you're an engineer, testing the product, or selling it, everyone is contributing to the success of our products."
ShotSpotter also offers a culture where employees get to work on the latest technology. "We use cutting-edge artificial intelligence to determine whether a loud sound that our sensors pick up is a gunshot or some other loud sound. It's amazing to see how the team keeps making the system better and better for law enforcement. It's cool technology and it really helps catch the bad guys," said Klepper.
ShotSpotter provides even more than a rewarding career. It also is the type of company that is always striving to use its technology for the betterment of the world. ShotSpotter philanthropic arm -- ShotSpotter Labs - uses its technology to help protect wildlife and the environment. The system has been adapted to combat rhino poaching in Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Gunfire alerts have led to the apprehension of poachers and in turn a significant reduction in poaching incidents where the system is deployed. In addition, ShotSpotter is testing an adaptation of its technology for underwater detection of bomb blasts that are used for illegal blast fishing in Malaysia. Fishermen use homemade bombs to kill many fish at once. However, this practice inadvertently destroys the nearby coral reef, which is an important food source for the fish. This has the potential to create a food security issue for those living in Southeast Asia and ShotSpotter hopes to mitigate this issue by providing local authorities the precise location of this illegal practice in real time for a police marine response.
Some of the benefits at ShotSpotter have been around for a while, but because of last year's employee survey there are new ones too. The company didn't just put that survey out so it could brag about being a great company. Leadership at ShotSpotter felt it was important to reach out to employees to see if there was anything the employees thought would make their career at ShotSpotter better. As a result, the company implemented a 401k match. "We saw how important it was for our employees," said Belasco. "We put employee satisfaction at the top of our list. It's the employees who are the foundation of our company."
In addition, employees also reported they wanted access to additional training and development resources. This led the company to partner with Udemy to provide online training. Since that implementation, employees at ShotSpotter have logged an incredible amount of hours to further their education and training. With thousands of courses at their fingertips, employees are strongly encouraged to use that benefit. And not all of the courses are career based. Staffers can learn how to play the piano, learn about data algorithms among other class choices.
Other valuable benefits include four weeks of paid time off and bonuses that are based on company and individual performance. Employees take advantage of the on-campus gym that's stocked full with workout equipment and daily classes, as well as the on-campus cafeteria that offers healthy food choices and outdoor seating. The team also hosts a lot of fun activities together throughout the year, including sand volleyball, picnics, gingerbread house, Halloween costume contests and more. It's easy to see why people find ShotSpotter a great place to work.
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