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CPD: Officers to use ShotSpotter to curb celebratory gunfire on NYE

Cincinnati police
Posted at 12:24 PM, Dec 31, 2020

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Police Department will use ShotSpotter Thursday evening to identify where celebratory gunfire is coming from in an effort to curb the problem, and more officers will be on patrol to combat illegal use of firearms.

CPD Sgt. Eric Franz told WCPO that celebratory gunfire is a prominent issue for police on holidays like New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July.

“We have projectiles going up in the air, they come down, they land on cars, they land on housetops, they puncture holes in roofs, they puncture holes in cars," Franz said. "Occasionally in the past, we have had several people hit in the last 20 years," though no one here has been killed due to celebratory gunfire.

ShotSpotter, technology that uses microphones to pick up gunfire, immediately alerts officers when shots are fired and pinpoints the location for them to respond.

Last New Year’s Eve, ShotSpotter recorded 168 reports of shots fired in the Price Hill and Avondale areas.

Celebratory gunfire is also a problem in cities across the country, and it can end in tragedy when an innocent person is injured or killed by a stray bullet, Lt. Steve Saunders said in a news release.

“The reality is that any bullet discharged from a gun, even into the sky, must land somewhere, and when it does, the risk of injury or death is significant,” Saunders said.

Police said more patrol officers will be in specific areas of the city that had the highest reports of gunfire in the past. On New Year’s Eve, officers will respond to certain areas when ShotSpotter indicates that a gun has been fired.

Cincinnati police first installed ShotSpotter in Avondale in 2017. Since then, it has been installed in Corryville, Mt. Auburn, Walnut Hills, the Price Hill neighborhoods, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton and the West End.