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Detroit City Council designates $7M for ShotSpotter expansion

With “11 people dying by gunfire in the past 7 days,” a rapid response systems needs to be in place said Detroit Police Chief James White


Photo/YouTube via WXYZ News

By Ashley Silver

DETROIT ― City Council members in Detroit have approved a $7 million proposal to expand its current ShotSpotter system in an effort to identify and address gun crimes within the city.

According to The Detroit News, the council was nearly split, with the funding narrowly being approved in a 5-4 vote. The ShotSpotter system, an aerial gunfire detection tool, has been a hot topic for the council and city for several weeks.

Detroit News reported Police Chief James White attended the council meeting to state his case in favor of the ShotSpotter system.

“We use that evidence to find out who was shooting,” said White during the meeting. “Last year, at the same time, there were 886 nonfatal shootings. This year, at the same time, 768 times someone has tried to kill someone and were unsuccessful. ... A rapid response needs to be in place.”

He added, “In the last seven days, 11 people have died by gunfire in the city.”

There were mixed reviews from other attendees at the meeting, citing additional methods that could be used to reduce crime in the city.

“We’ve heard from cities like Chicago that have the program that don’t work ... and this is personal for me. If council is going to vote yes on ShotSpotter, we should vote yes (on) community resources, yes on truly affordable housing and yes (on) mental health resources,” said council member Gabriela Santiago-Romero. “We have saved $7 million in pandemic relief dollars that we should use for those supportive services.”

The city council previously approved $1.5 million to renew the current ShotSpotter system, but the $7 million will support further expansion efforts to install the tool in additional areas of the city according to Detroit News. The expansion has an expected completion date of July 4, 2023.

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