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Committee OKs $850,000 in new technology for Green Bay gun violence crackdown

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (WBAY) – The latest attempt to stop a record level of gun violence in Green Bay has cleared a committee of city council members.

The city’s finance committee discussed spending nearly $ 1 million from the federal bailout plan on new technology and other crime prevention methods. Four separate proposals were all unanimously approved.

We’ve been reporting on the gun violence for months, and last week we first told you how the police are stepping up their patrols, building a new neighborhood response team, and will participate in an in-depth violence audit early next year.

“In the last few weeks we have seized 5, 6, 7 firearms. Some of them were involved in the recent shootings, ”said Green Bay Police Commander Paul Ebel.

Some of the 168 weapons police have recovered so far this year were found by investigators on Friday, just hours after Green Bay police held a press conference announcing new initiatives to combat gun violence.

Of the six people arrested in two separate incidents that day alone, we found that four of them had previously been charged with gun possession.

“That is what we come across a lot, and our officials are exposed to this danger every day in the community, and it occurs more often here,” says Ebel.

A picture showing some of the guns and shell casings recently recovered by the police also shows the danger. It contains a drum magazine.

“Look at a high capacity weapon. In this particular case we had a drum magazine that holds 50 rounds. You don’t have to reload that often, but if you look at the capacity to fire these rounds, we’ll restore 30 rounds at a time. That’s ridiculous, ”says Ebel.

Part of the city’s plan to address the problem lies in technology.

That includes spending $ 655,000 from Green Bay’s portion of the federal coronavirus support fund known as ARPA on a gunshot detection system capable of pinpointing the exact location of gunfire.

Sensors would be placed all over the city, constantly listening for gunfire. It uses acoustics to detect the unique sound of gunfire and automatically alerts rescue workers when gunfire is detected.

“Then it uses triangulation to determine where this weapon is and where the shot came from, and measures the sound waves to the sensor,” explains Ebel. “(But) there is more. It can tell you how many shooters you had based on the sound of the gun, and it can also tell you in which direction the shots are being fired. “

Not only would it provide police information that those involved would find difficult to get, but they would also believe it would improve the security of the officers.

“The average distance between the 911 call and where the shot actually took place is about 780 feet, so our officers drive right through the area where the shots were fired. It’s dangerous for our officers. That is dangerous for our community, ”says Ebel.

Nearly $ 200,000 more would allow police to buy instead of leasing the Nibin machine we first told you about in early November, compare the cartridge cases, and help investigators link crimes and in cases Generate clues.

The police say it is already helping with their investigation.

“We know that there are a few 3, 4, 5 guns that are used in the city, and especially in the newer ones, that these are tied to a very narrow group of guns,” says Ebel.

An additional $ 88,000 of that federal funding was allocated to recruiting and retaining the department’s staff to fill vacancies and reduce overtime costs and employee burnout.

$ 40,000 is earmarked for a law enforcement surveillance trailer that comes with HD cameras and 24/7 recording capabilities.

Even after approval by the finance committee, the entire city council still has to agree to pay for the new equipment.

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