ShotSpotter System to Detect Shootings Faster
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A new way to detect gunfire is coming to Kansas City by Monday, October 1. It’s called the ShotSpotter system, and while it excites some people who are tired of the violence, others say the city needs more than technology.
Ivory Mae Thomas has lived in her house for more than 40 years. It’s in an area that’s now known as the Green Impact Zone.
“You gotta be careful,” Thomas said. “Right now I’m scared to even go to the bus stop.”
She says while violence in her area has decreased, she still sees shootings from time to time. Thomas says she’s happy her neighborhood may be getting the ShotSpotter system, which will detect gunshots, send the sound to an engineer to make sure it’s not fireworks, then alert police.
“All communities are interested in being safer places, and this technology would definitely add to that safety factor,” said Anita Maltbia, the Director of the Green Impact Zone.
Monecia Smith’s son was shot in the head, and she hears about 20 to 30 shots a day in this neighborhood, but she says ShotSpotter isn’t the answer.
“Since mine was shot, I feel sorry for a lot of people’s kids because they need somewhere to go. They need jobs. They really do, they need to open up something for these youths,” Smith said.
She’s afraid the system will encourage people to “test it out.”
“They’re going to start shooting the guns just to see how fast they’ll respond,” Smith said.
ShotSpotter costs $720,000 for installation, maintenance, and five years of service. Federal grants will cover the cost. Police aren’t saying exactly where the ShotSpotter sensors will go, other than to say the Green Impact Zone and the Troost Max bus line will be included in the coverage.
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