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City Council approves ShotSpotter gun detection system in Bakersfield

Installation to begin this month
Posted at 7:07 AM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 09:48:10-05

The Bakersfield City Council approved a grant that will pay for the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system Wednesday night.

ShotSpotter has been on the Bakersfield Police Department's radar for more than two years

The ShotSpotter system activates during gunfire through microphones placed around the city. It records for six seconds total, then sends officers and dispatchers GPS coordinates of where the shots were heard. Once a ShotSpotter hears a shot, it takes 45 seconds for the program to be able to determine if a shot is from a gun or something else. 

In December, BPD was granted $450,000 for the system to be used in Bakersfield.

Fresno's success with ShotSpotter is one of the reasons why Bakersfield Police is so interested in it.

Fresno Police credited the technology for stopping Kori Muhammad from killing more people in Fresno last April.

Muhammad is accused of killing four people in what's believed to be a racially the racially motivated shooting spree. Police were able to catch him within minutes in April 2017. BPD believes strongly in the potential benefits of such technology.

ShotSpotter installation is expected to begin this month. By mid-February, it should be complete. Testing will begin after installation, and police will have shot tests and training on ShotSpotter. 

Police say 70 sensors will be set up throughout the city that covers a three square mile radius. That area is on the south side running from Brundage to California, then Chester over to Martin Luther King, then north near Old Town Kern.

BPD says the area ShotSpotter will cover is where officers receive the most amount of gunfire. 

The $450,000 grant would will help pay for the first two years of ShotSpotter. After that it will cost about $150,000 per year to use the technology.