The Public Building Commission today approved funding to fight crime on the south and west sides of the city by expanding the ShotSpotter® gunshot detection system used by the Chicago Police Department to cover the entire 7th (Englewood) and 11th (Harrison) police districts – a total geography of 13.5 square miles. So far this year, the two districts represent the majority of gun related violence occurring in Chicago. The $938,500 investment is part of CPD's continued effort to fight gun violence through intelligence-led and technology-based policing.
"This technology will help police officers combat the violence being driven by guns, gangs and drugs in two of the districts experiencing the most gun violence in the city," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Our officers and our communities deserve everything we can do to increase public safety. So, whether it’s more police or more technology, we will make every investment necessary to ensure the police department has the resources they need to fight crime and improve public safety."
Shotspotter is a sophisticated system that uses electronic monitoring to detect gun shots. Its first-in-kind technology detects the fullest range of gunfire, covers exponentially more geographic area, and collects data that helps CPD define the scope of illegal gunfire. On average, the technology gives police a five-minute lead on incidents of gun violence when compared to traditional 911 calls. The realtime monitoring also serves as a "force multiplier” because it provides critical information for better, more timely resource allocation.
The expansion builds upon the October 2012 launch of the program, in which the gunshot detection technology was originally installed in two 1.5 square mile areas of the same districts. CPD will also be increasing the existing POD crime camera footprint by 25% in the two districts to allow for better integration between the two technologies.
"We will continue to use every available resource to fight gun violence in our city," said Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "This technology allows us to police smarter and be more proactive than reactive when it comes to responding to and investigating shooting incidents across the districts."
The increased technology will enable police officers to respond more quickly to shooting incidents, and increase the ability of detectives and crime scene personnel to collect valuable evidence, like shell casings for ballistics evidence, in their efforts to solve gun related crimes.