Burson-Marsteller’s Prime Policy Group has been hired by gun technology company ShotSpotter, Inc. to advocate law enforcement funding issues on Capitol Hill.

Newark, CA-based ShotSpotter, which was founded in 1995, utilizes a technology that detects the location of gunfire activity through a series of sound sensors placed on area rooftops, then alerts area law enforcement agencies when shootings occur. The service, which law enforcement agencies pay an annual subscription to use, is intended to help officers respond to shootings more quickly and to provide them with local gunfire data, thereby reducing incidents of gun violence.


The New York Police Department began using the technology in several precincts across Brooklyn and the Bronx two years ago. Law enforcement agencies in more than 90 cities — including Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco and Minneapolis — have adopted the technology as well.

The New York Daily News last year reported that 911 call rates and arrests have improved in the NYC neighborhoods where those sensors were installed. Other reports have questioned the technology’s efficacy, noting that some cities are now opting out of their ShotSpotter contracts.

According to lobbying registration documents filed in April, PPG has been hired by ShotSpotter to monitor federal assistance to local U.S. law enforcement agencies.

A seven-person team at the government and public affairs firm leads the account, including PPG chairman Charles Black, who ran all of Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaigns and also served as an adviser to the election campaigns of George H.W. Bush, Senator John McCain and Governors Mitt Romney and John Kasich.

Joining Black will be Stefan Bailey, a former legislative director to Reps. Baron Hill (D-IN) and Nick Rahall (D-WV); Mark Disler, ex-staffer to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT); Martin Paone, a former Senate liaison and deputy assistant for legislative Affairs President Obama; R Scott Pastrick, a former deputy finance director for Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign and senior adviser to VP Biden during his presidential run; Elizabeth Hart Thompson, former legal assistant to Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN), former chief of staff to Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL) and chief of staff to Rep. John Carney (D-DE); and Rich Meade, advisor to GOP House Budget Committee chair Jim Nussle (R-IA).

WPP is Prime Policy Group’s parent company.