Installing Shotspotter technologh in one area confirmed the fears of Cincinnati police: People call 911 only a small fraction of the times guns are fired. For the first four months, ShotSpotter detected 257 gunfire incidents in and around the city’s Avondale area. Only 40 resulted in a 911 call.
New gunshot-detectors deployed in August confirmed the fears of Cincinnati police: People only call 911 a small fraction of the times guns are fired, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. For the first four months, ShotSpotter detected 257 gunfire incidents in and around the city’s Avondale area. Only 40 resulted in a 911 call – about one in six incidents. Assistant Chief Paul Neudigate said that if it weren’t for Shotspotter, police wouldn’t have known about 92 percent of the incidents in November.
Last year, the city spent $225,000 to cover three square miles with a network of listening devices used to triangulate the location of gunshots. Police officials in other cities using ShotSpotter have come to the same realization. Since August 16 when Shotspotter went online, 84 percent of all gunfire in the coverage area does not result in a 911 call. Why don’t residents always call 911? They don’t believe police will respond to 911 calls. In a survey of Avondale residents conducted by the Cincinnati Police Department, about 50 percent said gunfire was their top concern, but only 10 percent said they believed it was the top priority for police. “I can absolutely tell you it’s our number one priority, but that’s the perception we’re fighting,” Neudigate said. Avondale saw three fatal shootings and 11 non-fatal shootings in 2017 after ShotSpotter went live. During that same period in 2016, Avondale saw 11 non-fatal shootings, but no homicides.