On June 18, 2015, ShotSpotter issued a press release announcing the installation of its SecureCampus product at Newark Memorial High School in Newark, California. The contract was signed on December 16, 2014, by Bryan Richards, the Chief Business Official for the Newark Unified School District. Since the contract doesn’t cost anything in its first year (although the contract values it at $110,389), it did not go before the Newark School Board for approval, which means that the community and staff have not had an opportunity to discuss the privacy implications of the 35 microphones already installed throughout the campus.
The proposed locations of the 35 sensors/microphones are shown in the ShotSpotter proposal dated March 17, 2014:
Although Newark police Cmdr. Michael Carroll was quoted in a June 18, 2015, Bay Area Newspaper Group article stating that that ShotSpotter “doesn’t record conversations because they aren’t loud enough to trigger a recording,” that claim has proven to be false. ShotSpotter microphones recorded human voices in Oakland, California, in 2007 and New Bedford, Connecticut, in 2012 that were introduced as evidence in criminal cases.
In an August 19, 2014, email from ShotSpotter’s Charley Daly to members of the Newark Police Department, Newark police officer Vincent Kimbrough is given credit for bringing the Newark Unified School District to ShotSpotter: “Charley Daly here and I remember when you came through with the Newark School District folks also. I will give you a call tomorrow and set up a time when we can get together to discuss Newpark Mall.”