Chattanooga PD Eyes ShotSpotter System to Fight Crime

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – It’s no wonder Chattanooga Police Chief, Fred Fletcher, is considering a high tech gadget called ShotSpotter for the police department.

Chief Fletcher says, "It’s an exciting technology."

It’s a system of microphones hidden in buildings and rooftops that pick up the sound of gunfire and pinpoint the location.

Then, it instantly alerts police.

Chief Fletcher adds, "ShotSpotter represents a very exciting type of technology, which we are very familiar with and we are doing our due diligence to see if it is appropriate for Chattanooga."

Police in 22 states are now using ShotSpotter, including Georgia and Alabama.

In Camden, New Jersey, officers say it once took them ten minutes to respond to a shots fired call.

Now, it takes them under 30 seconds.

Ralph Clark, ShotSpotter President and CEO, says, "90 percent of the time people don’t call 911 when they hear gunshots, particularly the most afflicted communities that hear it all the time."

Officers say the system also helps keep them safe in some of the roughest neighborhoods.

Lieutenant Richard Verticelli with the Camden County Police Department, says, "Now, these officers are not traveling blindly into an area where a gunshot is."

Chief Fletcher says his department, and the city is taking all of that into consideration.

Chief Fletcher adds, "We’re committed to any kind of technology that can provide cost effective ways to meet our goals."

With homicides on the rise in Chattanooga, officers say it’s encouraging to learn this tool is proven to cut crime in half over a two year period.

There’s no word on how much this system costs, or if Chief Fletcher plans to get it.

Categories: Local News

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