City council believes shot spotter technology is critical to police’s job

Some now questioning whether the $3 million renewal makes sense
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:18 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The City of Birmingham has renewed their contract with Shot Spotter an additional three years. It will cost the tax payers approximately $2.8 million.

The amount that has some questioning whether the crime tech is worth it.

City leaders once hoped that the tech would lead to less gun shots, and in turn less murders.

Neither the number of shots, or the number of murders has decreased but city leaders say police believe the equipment to be critical.

City Councilman Hunter Williams stressing the police view the technology as an invaluable tool in their tool box.

That’s because the Shot Spotter equipment is placed in areas around the city and it is often the only way police learn that shots have been fired.

Once on the scene, first responders can provide life saving care.

Councilman Williams wishes the $3 million could be spent elsewhere, but says neighbors have to step up to make that a possibility.

“I wish we did not have to invest in this technology and extend this contract another three years today. The unfortunate reality is that, our citizens by in large are not calling 911 when they hear gun shots so our police department has asked for this technology. They use it daily, both to respond to calls and then to aggregate data where they are having these hot spots,” said Councilman Williams.

Police also use the data to determine where they need to place shot spotter technology, and which areas may need additional patrols to keep you safe.

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