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Bakersfield City Councilmember, Bakersfield Police push for ShotSpotter technology

Posted: 1:36 PM, Apr 19, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-20 00:58:09Z
Bakersfield Councilmember, BPD want ShotSpotter
Bakersfield Councilmember, BPD want ShotSpotter

The Chief of Fresno Police Department is crediting the "ShotSpotter" system for stopping Kori Muhammad from killing more people Tuesday in downtown Fresno. 

According to the ShotSpotter website, "the system is a gunshot detection, acoustic surveillance technology that uses sophisticated sensors to detect, locate and alert law enforcement agencies of illegal gunfire incidents in real time."

"The technology detects gunfire when a gun is discharged, protects officers with increased tactical awareness, and connects law enforcement agencies to the community and to their mission of protect and serve. The real-time digital alerts include a precise location on a map (latitude/longitude) with corresponding meta data such as the address, number of rounds fired, type of gunfire, etc. delivered to any browser-enabled device or mobile device."

The Bakersfield Police Department does not have ShotSpotter, but it has been on their radar.

"If it works the way they say it works then it would give us the ability to get more timely data, more accurate information and hopefully get officers on scene a lot quicker," said BPD Sergeant Ryan Kroeker. 

Sgt. Kroeker, the system is costly and it is not a one-time cost to purchase the technology. 

However, BPD has applied for a Federal Grant that would provide funding for a 2-year pilot program for ShotSpotter. They hope to hear back about whether or not they have been awarded that grant within the next few months. 

According to ShotSpotter the cost is $65,000-$90,000 per square mile. Cities can choose to input just a few square miles or put it in across their entire city. 

In an article posted on Recordnet.com , Stockton approved spending $100,000 on ShotSpotter for a two-square-mile portion of south Stockton.

According to a 2015 article¬† in the Bakersfield Californian, Councilman Chris Parlier who represents south Bakersfield, asked Bakersfield Police about the ShotSpotter system. 

"I'd like the police department of city staff to look at that again, and maybe do a survey depending on the cost, of California cities our size," Parlier was quoted in the California. 

In a phone call with 23ABC on Wednesday, Parlier, a Chair on the Safe Neighborhoods Committee, said he asked BPD to look into the ShotSpotter system again and BPD is supposed to present their findings in a council meeting on Thursday morning.

Parlier said he hopes this program would get criminals off the street.

"Hopefully it would, again, tap down crime, tap down shootings, tap down homicides," said Parlier. 

Sgt. Kroeker said he hopes this device may also deter criminals from committing crimes in the first place. 

"Maybe they'll think twice about pulling out a gun and shooting somebody and that can be a benefit for us and a benefit for the community as well," said Kroeker.

Bakersfield Police Captain Joe Mullins is expected to present his findings and research on ShotSpotter to the City Council on Thursday at 9 a.m.

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For more information about ShotSpotter, click here.