New technology could come to Memphis to reduce gun violence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New technology could come to Memphis to reduce gun violence

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
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    Memphians reported gunfire on average 30 times a day in 2015. That's more than 10,000 calls to 911 just to report gun shots. Technology exists that could help officers track down where the shots are coming from and determine what kind of gun is being fired.

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    Memphians reported gunfire on average 30 times a day in 2015. That's more than 10,000 calls to 911 just to report gun shots. Technology exists that could help officers track down where the shots are coming from and determine what kind of gun is being fired.

    More >>
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

City leaders are hoping they can get their hands on a new tool that could help fight crime by cutting down on gun violence.

WMC Action News 5 first told you about the ShotSpotter system in May, after Memphians reported gunfire an average of 30 times a day in 2015. However, city and police officials passed on the technology.

Now, officials said it will be deployed in two different areas. One of those areas has already seen its share of gun violence.

The City of Memphis is following more than 80 cities around the world that bought in to the ShotSpotter system concept. 

Some city leaders said it's about one thing--safety.

"Making sure that we have every tool that we possibly can have in our tool belt to fight crime," Councilman Berlin Boyd said.

Councilman Boyd said after the first talk he had with WMC Action News 5, he began his own research and investigation into the technology. It was then that he realized it was a good idea.

"To me, Skycops are great, however, I don't see the statistical data of the reduction of crime as you see from ShotSpotter," Boyd said.

He said after looking at other cities where the number of shots fired calls were reduced by up to 50%, he was convinced Memphis needed it.

During the budget wrap up, Boyd said there was enough savings from the City of Memphis Capital Improvement budget to set aside $650,000.  That will provide enough funds to deploy the system of sensors and microphones in one area of District 6 and District 7.

The decision still has to go through the Request For Proposal process.

"It's not done completely, but we are getting close and I am very optimistic," Boyd said. 

MPD Interim Director Mike Rallings did not respond to questions about the move, but he did say he "wants to look into the equipment before making a firm opinion."

"That's taking guns off the streets, that's getting rid of useless gun shots being fired," Boyd said.

Getting the ShotSpotter system up and running could take some time. Officers will need to be trained and the CEO of ShotSpotter, Ralph Clark, could be coming to Memphis. 

Councilman Boyd said the implementation will begin soon.

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