Cincinnati police will soon have a high-tech new tool to track shootings

Cincinnati police will soon have a high-tech new tool to track shootings
Posted at 12:15 AM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 06:52:58-04

CINCINNATI -- Police will have a new tool on their side starting in July, Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate said Tuesday -- one that has the ability to report and track gunfire with game-changing precision.

ShotSpotter, a gunfire detection system already employed by nearby Canton, Ohio, uses a network of microphones to identify the sound of gunshots and analyze exactly where those shots might have come from within seconds.

This technology can help police identify the locations of reported shootings as well as track shootings that might go unreported. According to the Miami Herald, the Miami Police Department's ShotSpotter system tracked around 1,600 shootings in three neighborhoods during its first year of activity -- only a fraction of which had been reported.

Mitch Morris, a Cincinnati Works employee who helps families impacted by gun violence, said Cincinnati has the same problem.

"There's actually people that get shot that won't even tell who shot them, so it don't surprise me," he said.

City leaders who visited Denver in 2016 to evaluate ShotSpotter's potential application came away impressed.

"This is clearly a cutting-edge device that can really go after those repeat violent offenders that we're really targeting," Mayor John Cranley said.

Canton's three-square-mile ShotSpotter network cost $360,000, the city said. The Cincinnati system could cost even more, but Morris said no price could be too high to prevent violence and death in the Queen City.

"At this point, we need to try everything we can," he said. "We are losing babies out here at a rapid rate -- either to the penitentiary or the graveyard."