Officials consider using 'ShotSpotter' in Cincy

Posted at 6:13 PM, May 18, 2016

Cincinnati's mayor, city manager and police chief are in Denver this week, in part, to check out a new device that uses sensors pick up soundwaves and can show police where a gunshot came from -- within seconds.

Mayor John Cranley said the ShotSpotter could be the answer to curbing Cincinnati's increasing gun violence.

"This is clearly a cutting edge device that can really go after those repeat violent offenders that we're really targeting," Cranley said. "I know the chief of police is excited about it we're excited about it I know (Prosecutor) Joe Deters is excited about it and it's going to make our community safer."

When someone fires a shot inside the system's perimeter, ShotSpotter's sensors pick up soundwaves and can show police where the shot came from -- within seconds.

City councilman and former police officer Wendell Young said he would also like to see the ShotSpotter used by CPD.

"It's fantastic," he said. "It could really go a long way to reduce gun violence in Cincinnati."

WCPO's I-Team studied the ShotSpotter in Sept. 2015. The police department in Canton, Ohio, has been using the ShotSpotter since 2013.

"It saves a lot of money because to focus on this problem with personnel alone to respond in this type of manner would be so cost prohibitive," Canton Police Chief Bruce Lawver said.

Within ShotSpotter's three-square-mile boundary in Canton, gunfire is down 50 percent from last year; citywide, calls for shots fired are down 37 percent.

However, Canton's system cost $360,000 for only three square miles.

Cranley said he estimates the cost of a ShotSpotter system in Cincinnati would cost several hundred thousand dollars.