ShotSpotter is a high-tech police surveillance system for detecting gunfire in neighborhoods. It’s used by 84 U.S. cities, including Canton and Youngstown, and now, Akron is considering it.
Company representative Ron Teachman told an Akron City Council committee during a presentation about ShotSpotter that in most cities without the system, four of five gunfire incidents are never located by police. But in cities with ShotSpotter, gunfire draws nearly immediate police action, and the discharging of firearms has dropped as much as 40%.
Council member Veronica Sims says that’s encouraging. And she was encouraged too by Teachman’s answers for concerns about potential issues of police intrusiveness with ShotSpotter. “And really exploring whether we have the right to collect the data that we need to deploy the limited resources that we have to help people feel safer in their neighborhoods.”
The cost of ShotSpotter for a three-square-mile targeted area averages about $200-thousand a year.