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City to Consider Funding Cameras in High Crime Areas Following Approval of ShotSpotter Gunshot Detection System

Published on Thursday, January 20, 2022 | 6:02 am
 

The City is set to consider funding home security video cameras in high crime areas to further enhance the ability of the police to combat gun violence, just months after approving the use of ShotSpotter gunshot detection system in Pasadena.

The idea was originally put forth by Councilmember Tyron Hampton, who said the cameras would hopefully help to deter criminals and give residents another tool to use in conjunction with calling the police department when reporting incidents.

“This would hopefully help to deter anyone who is thinking of causing problems/committing crimes in Pasadena because having more camera footage available would make it more likely that they would be arrested,” Hampton said in an email Wednesday.

“I will not stand by idly while a handful of bad actors make residents feel unsafe in their homes,” Hampton said in an email to his constituents. “I will not make criminals comfortable doing dirt in the First District or in any part of Pasadena. I will continue to advocate for safety and quality of life in our city. With your help, our police department will have a better chance of solving crimes, and together we will make our neighborhoods safer.”

Hampton said camera footage, that neighbors willingly provide, will enhance the capabilities of Shotspotter technology.

Last October, the City Council approved the $640,000 3-year contract for the use of the Shotspotter system, which alerts police after a shot was fired, making Pasadena the first city in Los Angeles County to use the gun detection system.

It is unclear when exactly the Shotspotter technology will be up and running but earlier this month, Lt. Bill Grisafe said the target is the last week of January or first week of February.

According to Mayor Victor Gordo, the city staff are now preparing the presentation on the proposed deployment of cameras in conjunction with the ShotSpotter system and they will come forward whenever they have all the information needed.

“I was hoping we could have it in today’s agenda but I was convinced by the city manager that it is better to bring that once it’s been looked at in conjunction with ShotSpotter.

“ShotSpotter is what makes it impactful and effective — the combination of the two programs. Let’s see what staff comes back with and will bring that forward,” Gordo said.

City Manager Cynthia Kurtz said ShotSpotter is now determining areas in Pasadena where gun detecting sensors will be deployed.

She added that information on where these sensors will be placed is needed to help city staff determine the areas that might be considered for adding cameras. She mentioned the possibility of the city working with residents who would want to get ring doorbell cameras or similar outdoor cameras.

“We need a few more steps but it is moving along. Certainly by the end of February or early March, I would hope that we could come back to this committee with information on areas and budget,” Kurtz said.

Councilmember Tyron Hampton, who brought the proposal to the committee, urged the city to consider the program right away amid recent shooting incidents. Hampton also said the program will not be used for “public surveillance.”

“Time is of the essence. We need to react now not just be reactive but also give our residents the opportunity to participate in stopping crime and these types of incidents happening in our city,” Hampton said.

Just last Tuesday, a 15-year-old boy was shot at Los Robles Avenue and Eldora Road. The critically injured teenager is now in the hospital receiving treatment.

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