Cleveland police embrace cutting edge technology that detects sound of gunfire, alerts officers

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Cleveland Police Department rely on state-of-the-art technology called Shot Spotter, which detects the sound of gunshots and notifies local police officers via their telephones and on-board computers.

During a meeting of Cleveland City Council Public Safety Committee Ron Teachman of ShotSpotter Inc. told council members, “Preliminary data shows that only 15% of shot alerts were public emergency, which means 85% of the time without a shot spotter was response time never because the police don’t know anything about the shots. In less than 60 seconds after the trigger, we send the police to the scene with tactical intelligence to ensure a safer reaction. “

During Wednesday’s session, councilors were briefed on a pilot project that launched in November with Shot Spotter covering an area of three square miles in the city’s fourth district.

“Based on Shot Spotter’s response, there have been 27 arrests and 26 gun recoveries, and I’d say those are likely arrests and recoveries that we would not otherwise have had,” said Commander Brandon Kutz.

More importantly, Shot Spotter helps save lives.

“We met four people with life-threatening injuries and our officers were able to provide life-saving first aid prior to arriving on site Fire and EMS“Said Commander Kutz.

The city of Cleveland Since the Shot Spotter was installed in District Fourth, 1,520 gunshot incidents have been detected by the technology, and an average of 3.5 shots were fired for each of these incidents.

The city is looking for additional funding to expand the technology, but Councilor Basheer Jones says policing needs the human element.

“As much as Shot Spotter is there, it’s also about building that relationship with the community that they are the best shot spotters. I mean the equipment is fine, but the community is the best shot spotters,” said Councilman Jones.

While council members have expressed their support for the use of Shot Spotter, some of them raise questions about the cost of the technology, which is $ 65,000 per square mile of coverage per year.

Meanwhile, some members of the public safety committee are urging the city’s technology administrators to have more surveillance cameras in neighborhoods.

“It’s about community safety and about sending a message to that element out there that wants to harass and criminalize our community. You know what, smile because next time you’re in front of the camera,” said Councilor Mike Polensek.