Utah First To Test Technology That Logs Every Shot Fired By Police

Apr 9, 2021, 12:13 AM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:57 pm

OGDEN, Utah – If you’ve never heard of Utah Senate Bill 68, you’re not alone. It didn’t get a lot of fanfare. It barely got media attention. But now signed by the governor, it may completely change the way officer-involved shootings are investigated.

In short, it helps pay for new technology that provides a digital diary of an officer’s gun.


The tech is called ShotDot, developed by a company based in Australia. CEO Dominic Kelly says Utah police are first to test this new technology.

ShotDot CEO Dominic Kelly talks to Mike Headrick

It’s a tiny device inserted into the grip of a gun, which documents every shot from every officer.

By time stamping those shots, it leaves no question who shot, in what order they shot, and what time they shot.

The Tech

The KSL Investigators caught up with former Ogden Police Chief Randy Watt at the shooting range. He believes this piece of technology will forever change the way officer-involved shootings are investigated.

Randy Watt demonstrates how ShotDot timestamps each bullet fired

“We didn’t have the ability to go directly to the gun and ask it, ‘How many rounds got fired.’ Now we do,” said Watt.

Here’s how it works: Each time the trigger is pulled, the ShotDot has a unique identifier documenting data on every single bullet fired, down to the fraction of a second.

That information is immediately stored and transferred to a database linked to every officer’s gun.

Compare that technology to how shootings are investigated right now, where shots fired are investigated by:

  1. The number of shell casings, if they can find them.
  2. The number of bullets left in the clip, if they know how many were originally in there.
  3. Officer memory, trying to recall the number of shots fired in a highly intense situation.

“We never, ever knew for absolute certainty how many rounds an officer fired,” said Watt. “With body cameras we have better recall, but not every shot gets captured. Not every gunshot gets captured.”

State Street Shooting Case in point: April 8, 2019. Harold Vincent Robinson, 37, robbed two stores and fled from police through the streets of Salt Lake in a white pickup truck. While driving, Robinson randomly fired an estimated 50 shots from the window, endangering the public.

State Street pursuit

Between 30 to 40 officers from different agencies were involved in the chase.

Robinson lost control of the truck on State Street and crashed into a business near 3300 South.

Within seconds, an investigation found officers fired nearly 200 bullets in 20 seconds of continuous gunfire.

Robinson was killed. The actions of all 15 officers who fired their weapons were ruled justified.

But the investigation is where things get tricky. With bullet casings scattered across every direction of State Street, it was a challenge to figure out exactly who fired, when they fired and in what order they fired.

Kelly says tracking down the bullet casings alone, in the attempt to piece the shooting together, can take an enormous amount of time.

Bullet casings from State Street investigation

Even with the evidence left on scene, he says there is still guesswork.

“If there was a ShotDot device,” said Kelly, “They could have easily determined who shot what and when.”

Pitch & Cost

And that sales pitch was enough for state lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 68 during this year’s legislative session. The bill earmarked $500,000 in state funds to pay for 50% of the cost for law enforcement agencies choosing to use this or similar technology.

In the end, the belief is the ShotDot will create more data when officers shoot, providing more accuracy during the investigation, and more transparency for everyone involved.

“That is critical information that we’ve never had before,” said Watt.

Watt says other benefits are safety and cost. Like a car, guns have parts and mechanisms that get worn down and need to be replaced.

Because the ShotDot documents every shot fired, law enforcement agencies will have a better idea when to replace those parts.

ShotDot is expected to be in the hands of Utah officers by September.


· May 20, 2020: UHP Releases New Video of Fatal State Street Shootout

· April 19, 2019: Salt Lake police release body camera footage of State Street Chase, Officer-Involved Shooting

· April 9, 2019: ‘Lives Were Saved,’ Police Leaders Praise Officers’ Actions

· April 8, 2019: Suspect Killed After Reports Of Armed Robberies, Police Chase On State Street

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox, KSL TV

Location data cracks open police cases, but critics say there’s a cost to privacy

Utah police are using controversial search warrants to scoop up large dumps of digital data. They can be critical crime fighting tools, but privacy experts warn they're an unconstitutional abuse of technology.
2 months ago
A bus driver fills up at a gas station in Brooklyn on August 11, 2022 in New York City. While fuel ...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Ways you can save money at the gas pump

Inflation remains high for several reasons and one of the biggest is tied to gas prices. But you can bring down the price you pay with some relatively simple changes in your driving habits.
2 months ago
KSL’s Matt Gephardt fuels up his minivan to determine how much gas Google Maps’ eco-friendly ro...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can Google’s eco-friendly routes really save you gas money?

Gas prices have edged down from their record highs, but they are still a far cry from being affordable for many Utah families. So, when Google rolled out a new feature for its Maps navigation app that says it can save you money on gas by using suggested eco-friendly routes, the KSL Investigators decided to put it to the test.
2 months ago
FILE: Back-to-school shopping (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Saving $ on back-to-school supplies with inflation

With inflation running amok this year, parents are tackling big price hikes on top of the stress. Fortunately, there are ways they can still save money.
2 months ago
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

KSL Investigators help bank customer regain access to his money after fraud incident

KSL Investigators help a fraud victim gain access to his bank account after nearly a year of being locked out.
2 months ago
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

What are the rules for airline travel credits?

After canceling a beach vacation to Hawaii, a Utah woman believes she has $1,400 in flight credits. Ongoing flight cancellations have plagued the summer travel season, and a lot of travelers are being made whole with flight credits rather than refunds.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Utah First To Test Technology That Logs Every Shot Fired By Police