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Areas in Bakersfield prone to gun violence will see ShotSpotters very soon

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 21:56:44-05

Law enforcement is one step closer to shorter response times Thursday.

Officials have mapped out specific areas in Bakersfield that have been prone to gun violence in the past where they plan to use ShotSpotter Gunshot Detection Location Service technology.

The system is set up so that once a gunshot is detected from the spotter scanner in a specific area, officers closest to that area are dispatched to administer aid right away.

The City of Bakersfield received a grant of $450,000 to implement the new modern ShotSpotter technology in a precise two and half square mile area, running from Washington Street to Chester and Brundage Lane to California Street.

Residents in that area said they’re looking forward to the safety upgrades coming to their neighborhood because of the high concentration of gun violence.

Central Bakersfield resident Charmin Gortarez rides her bike every day but she said there are certain areas she avoids because of gun violence.

"I know what routes to take and what routes not to, like by Roy's Market or sometimes right here on 3rd Street it all depends," Gortarez said.

For Gortarez, this has been part of here daily life cycle because of what she has seen and heard.

"it can be guns we don't know but I just stay inside," Gortarez said.

Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) is doing their part to combat gun violence in the area that many residents like Gortarez are dealing with.

"We want suspects to understand that if you plan on shooting someone over here there's a good chance officers are going to be there quick," Sgt. Kroeker of BPD said.

Sgt. Kroeker also said he doesn't suspect an uptick in modified weapon use, "If it changes and they decide to use silencers, they are often hard to come by."

He also doesn't suspect a shift in crime zone, "That area has been responsible for 30% to 35% of the shootings in Bakersfield.”

Gortarez and other residence said it a positive change for their community, "Hopefully it will solve a lot of problems and maybe there won’t be so much gang violence."