File this story under “(No) Return on investment” –
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It was a busy New Year’s Eve for Louisville Metro Police.
According to LMPD’s Public Information Officer Lamont Washington, ShotSpotter, Louisville’s new technology that allows police to detect the sound of gunfire, was activated a total of 465 times between 11 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 8 a.m. New Year’s Day.
According to Washington, this is the first New Year’s Eve that Louisville has had the technology.
ShotSpotter uses sensors to find the location of gunfire within seconds. LMPD hasn’t disclosed exactly where the sensors are located in the city, but has told us they’re located in areas that have experienced the most gun violence in Louisville. Neighborhoods like Portland, Russell, Shawnee, Chickasaw, Parkland, Smoketown, Shelby Park, and Old Louisville.
Officers have access to ShotSpotter on their car computers and smartphones. Every time gunfire erupts, the technology pinpoints exactly where the shots came from. Within a minute that gunfire erupts, officers on patrol, along with the Real Time Crime Center and MetroSafe are notified.
No arrests were made in connection to any of the shots fired on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
For a system that’s cost $1.2 million so far, with additional subscription dollars expected soon, let me just say I’m less than impressed. ShotSpotter has been in use in a variety of cities, from LA to Chicago. While it has been used to direct patrol cars to areas where suspects have been caught with the gun still in hand, its record is not exactly stellar.
The money spent on this system could have paid for several full time officers, new cruisers, and updated equipment. Or, social welfare programs with proven track records in reducing violence, such as after school programs. Oh well!