Strategies for Policing Innovation (SPI) in Wilmington, DE

Project Summary 

The Wilmington SPI (Strategies for Policing Innovation) project stems from innovative techniques of the Wilmington (DE) Police Department (WPD) responding to an increase in shooting events. The project involves integrating gunshot technology with existing camera systems to improve investigative efficacy and clearance rates for fatal and non-fatal shootings. When gunshot technology (ShotSpotter) detects shots fired, surrounding CCTV cameras will physically pan toward the location of the shots. The National Police Foundation is analyzing WPD data to assess outcomes of this endeavor, as well as surveying residents to capture whether confidence in police response changes.



The National Police Foundation is evaluating the effects of this technological integration by conducting a time-series analysis of fatal and non-fatal shooting incidents several years prior to and following implementation. Additionally, response time to calls and investigative efficacy will be examined in a process evaluation of the technology implementation. Community surveys are being conducted before and after implementation to assess changes in community trust of the police department, and to examine whether community member attitudes about WPD response to gun violence specifically changes over the course of the project. Additionally, officer surveys are to be conducted to capture information regarding implementation of such an innovative technology to provide ‘lessons learned’ to the field.


Funding & Collaboration

This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in collaboration with CNA and the Delaware State Criminal Justice Council.


Point of Contact

Heather Vovak, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
National Police Foundation



Gunshot detection, CCTV, police innovation, SPI