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ShotSpotter System to be Deployed in Pasadena Early Next Year

Published on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 | 11:31 am

During a press conference on Monday, Deputy Chief Cheryl Moody said that a system designed to triangulate the location of gunfire should soon be up and running.

“The ShotSpotter system should be in place at the early part of the year,” Moody said.

In early October, the City Council approved a $640,000, three-year contract for the technology that uses microphones and sensors in certain neighborhoods to determine the location of gunshots.

After the system determines shots have been fired it alerts police in a matter of seconds.

In October police said the system, which alerts police about the location of a gunshot in less than a minute, could save lives and possibly deter shootings.

Police say the technology can help them in a current spike in local shootings.

On Saturday, a stray bullet killed 13-year old Iran Moreno-Balvaneda in his Northwest Pasadena home.

“The technology is intended to triangulate when shots are fired in any part of the city making the police department aware immediately where a shot might be emanating from whether it was across the street, whether it was someone walking or driving by,” said Mayor Victor Gordo on Monday.

“It’s all data that we would have if this technology were in place. And so I’m looking forward to that technology being in place so that we’re not left to wonder what happened in situations like this, so that the police department can respond quickly and responsibly in a situation like this.”

The city is paying $640,000 for a three-year contract with Shotspotter.

According to a staff report contained in a City Council agenda the night elected officials deliberated on the item:

“Gunshots are difficult to determine where they actually originated because of how sound waves travel, which results in officers responding to an inaccurate location. The response delay can sometimes be considerable. If a person was struck by gunfire, time is of the essence and any delay could be a matter of life and death,” the report states.

Residents opposing the technology said it did not work or address issues that lead to crime.

Critics also point to low arrest numbers and surveillance questions.

Supporters point out that sometimes people don’t call police when they hear gunshots.

Since officials in Baltimore began using the technology in 2018, police have received 8,529 alerts according to a Baltimore Sun article earlier this month.

However, only 1,030 of those alerts had a corresponding 911 call. The alerts led police to bullet casings and other evidence of a shooting 1,725 times, and a shooting victim 804 times.

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