'Shot-Spotter' Aids In Crime Fighting Efforts
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO, Sep. 12, 2007 (KGO) (KGO) -- San Francisco is coping with an increase in violence.
The city has already logged 81 homicides this year, four shy of the total for all of last year.The mayor is hoping sophisticated technology will help crime fighting efforts. He's pushing the Board of Supervisors to release the necessary funding. Ten years ago, Redwood City became the first in the nation to acquire what's called the "shot-spotter" system. Sensors set up in certain neighborhoods detect gunfire and notify dispatchers of the precise location. Redwood City does not have the kind of gun violence a big city does, but officials say "shot-spotter" has helped fight crime. "We've had one arrest based on the system alone. We've had other arrests that were associated with the system. The system actually helped us pinpoint certain target locations, but it was actually citizens that pointed us to the suspect," said Sgt. Jim Stoney, Redwood City Police Department. With San Francisco's homicide rate soaring, the "shot-spotter" is in demand. "Big difference to respond to a corner or geographical area than it is to know that the shot came from the side of the building, or behind a building, or front of a building within 20-30 foot range. Tactically, that is significant," said Deputy Chief Morris Tabak, San Francisco Police Department. A demonstration at the San Francisco Police gun range shows the technology not only zeroes in on the location, but the exact time of the shooting, even the number of weapons fired. Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to begin a pilot project in two troubled neighborhoods, the Western Addition and Bayview Hunters Point. "We put 400,000 dollars in the budget. Unfortunately, that money was held up on reserve. We want to get that money and we want to get this technology," said Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco. He is urging the Board of Supervisors to release the funds. Board president Aaron Peskin says supervisors are willing to work with the mayor, but need more details. The Bay Area based company that devised "shot-spotter" says 17 cities are using their system, including Oakland, which has been up and running for six months now. Company officials say it's still too early to know how effective it is.
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