Savannah Police details the importance of ShotSpotter technology

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - City Council recently approved the purchase of additional technology they say allows their officers to respond faster to shooting scenes around the city.

The new sensors will allow the Savannah Police Department to monitor four new areas of the City, covering an additional three and a half miles. The latest investment use just over a quarter of a million dollars from the Capital Improvement Fund to pay for the expansion.

According to Savannah Police Department leaders, that takes the total investment to just over 500-thousand dollars. Police leaders call the ShotSpotter technology a force multiplier, giving officers responding to gunfire pinpoint locations, which allows for faster responses.

Major Robert Gavin said, “we’re hoping that this technology will push us forward and help...even if it alleviates one major crime, to me it’s worth it.”

Major Gavin says that gunshot sensing technology pairs with others like cameras and license plate readers to build a network of data police can use to determine how they respond to crime in the community.

“We know that 70-percent of violent crime is done with vehicles. So having access to this technology allows us to pinpoint, track and take these vehicles off the city streets to make people safe.”

“It’s not going to solve every crime. Technology is not going to solve that. It’s still going to take humans, and the community getting involved...the police working with the community to be involved.”

Major Gavin gave a real-life example of how the department uses ShotSpotter.

He said officers responding to a shots fired call just last night were able to find the vehicle involved and made arrests shortly afterward because they were in the area faster.

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