Cleveland City Council set to vote on gunshot detection technology

Cleveland City Council voting on new crime technology

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As police and lawmakers work on ways to combat crime in Cleveland, city council members are looking into technology that can detect gunfire and help police better respond and investigate incidents.

Wednesday afternoon council will be asked to approve a two-year pilot program that would setup gunfire sensors in the 4th Police District. The area is known for a high rate of crime and is one of the busiest for officers.

A grant from from the Cleveland Police Foundation, totaling nearly $400,000, would cover the program’s costs.

While a vendor hasn’t been selected, ShotSpotter is a well known company that has systems in dozens of cities across the U.S. including Toledo and Youngstown.

Cleveland City Council is set to vote today on a plan that would put gunshot detection technology in the city- as part of a pilot project. LIVE report coming up in a few minutes on 19 News This Morning.

Posted by Damon Maloney TV on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The technology picks up the sound of gunfire, pinpoints the origin and can even identify the type of weapon used. The information can be collected in about one minute and eliminates the need for eyewitnesses to call police to relay critical information.

Last year, Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell told 19 News the technology is welcomed.

“Sometimes resident’s don’t call 911. Sometimes they don’t make the phone call because they are used to hearing gunshot,” Conwell said.

He added, “When we have data that helps us save lives or do prevention for our residents that’s the way to go.”

Supporters argue the technology helps police respond faster to scenes and better investigate crimes.

Some in the community have raised concerns about the accuracy of the technology and privacy.

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