RICHMOND -- Police said Friday they will use ShotSpotter audio gunshot-detection equipment to immediately dispatch patrol officers on New Year's Eve in an effort to nab celebratory shooters.

"Celebratory gunfire remains a problem in many cities, particularly on New Year's Eve, and sadly, it can often have tragic results when innocent people are hit by the bullets and injured or killed," Lt. Andre Hill said in a news release. "The reality is that any bullet discharged from a gun, even into the sky, must land at some location."

On New Year's Eve, patrol officers will cruise parts of the city that have the highest amount of gunshot activity recorded by the ShotSpotter system in recent months and last year's holiday season.

The system uses acoustic sensors that detect gunfire and transmit data instantaneously to emergency dispatchers. The wireless sensors work by triangulating the location and position of the gunshots.

ShotSpotter came online in Richmond in May 2009, thanks to local funds and federal grants.

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