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Tom Chittum discusses gunshot detection technology, plus the proliferation of ghost guns

“When you are talking about gunfire in urban areas, time is of the essence.”

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Ghost guns are firearms that are privately assembled and untraceable. They can be assembled from “buy build shoot” kits or from other parts, or they can be 3D-printed. Unlike other guns, these weapons don’t have serial numbers.

Google “ghost guns” to see the ubiquity of them and that they have been used to assault law enforcement officers and commit crimes by people who most likely would not be able to lawfully purchase a firearm otherwise.

In this episode of the Policing Matters podcast, sponsored by Lexipol, host Jim Dudley speaks with Tom Chittum, who recently retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), about the proliferation of ghost guns, as well as the value of gunshot detection systems.

About our sponsor

This episode of the Policing Matters Podcast is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

About our guest

Tom Chittum recently retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES). He spent his last year as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Over the course of his career, he enforced a wide range of federal criminal laws, especially related to firearms and violent crime.

After nearly 27 years in federal law enforcement, Tom joined SoundThinking (formerly ShotSpotter) to help promote and support the integrated use of the company’s vast data holdings and comprehensive public safety solutions. He leads a team of experienced professionals committed to supporting robust and effective application of SoundThinking’s products in investigations, forensics and litigation.

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Policing Matters law enforcement podcast with host Jim Dudley features law enforcement and criminal justice experts discussing critical issues in policing