SCMPD analyzing ShotSpotter info for 2015, service continues

SCMPD analyzing ShotSpotter info for 2015, service continues

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The City of Savannah approved funding for the fees to continue using ShotSpotter technology.

The system helps police pinpoint where guns are going off in real time so officers can respond faster. But now, the one year old system does come with a learning curve.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police hopes to learn from the data collected in 2015, and use that information to make their services even more efficient in the coming months.

The provision passed through with council's approval with no problems during Thursday's meeting. The California-based ShotSpotter, Inc. met with SCMPD last month to review the programs performance in 2015.

"In terms of the system, the system appears to be functioning as it was intended to. It's doing what it's supposed to be doing," said SCMPD Captain David Gay.

There have been plenty of opportunities for police to analyze any gun violence trends in the city, with ShotSpotter detecting 1,300 shots fired incidents in 2015. WTOC asked the police captain if ShotSpotter has helped police make more immediate arrests when a gun is illegally fired within city limits.

Captain Gay responded, "They have on a couple of occasions been able to utilize the information in investigations."

But Cpt. Gay didn't want to reveal exactly how it helped, as to not compromise future investigations. And even though ShotSpotter gives police the location of a gun being fired within seconds, they still have to have an appropriate response.

"It's also important to point out this last year we've been dealing with some manpower issues. So while this information, we've integrated it into what we do, we're in the process now of evaluating how we can better use this information in terms of deployment, and trying to understand the true value of the technology," Cpt. Gay said.

The city approved the purchase of the ShotSpotter technology for $175,000 last year, entering into a three-year agreement with the company. The annual subscription fee is $135,000.

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