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Virginia Beach police to fire controlled shots to test gunshot detector system

The department is testing its new Shotspotter system between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wed

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach Police Department is alerting residents and visitors at the Oceanfront that they could hear controlled gunshots in the resort area Wednesday.

The department is testing its new Shotspotter system between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Police ask if you hear any gunshots to call 911 to see if it is related to the testing or another incident.

ShotSpotter advertises its program as a way to detect gunshots and alert police in seconds, instead of waiting for a witness to call 911. The company claims it shaves minutes off response times.

Several U.S. cities use ShotSpotter to help investigate gunfire, including Denver, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

The technology was put up at the Oceanfront after several shootings there hurt some and killed others. 

In March, 10 people were shot in three separate shootings in one night; two of them, Deshayla Harris and Donovon Lynch were killed. Lynch was shot by a police officer. No suspect has been found in Harris' slaying.

In May, two people were shot outside separate bars near the Oceanfront. One man had to have his leg amputated.