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MPD launches new tool to crackdown on gun violence

Updated: Apr. 1, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Police Department has launched a new tool to fight crime.

It’s called Shot Spotter, a device that does just that, spot and locate gunshots. It is new crime-fighting technology that was just installed in Orange Mound.

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Retiring Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings announced the technology has been installed in a three-mile radius in Orange Mound. The locations of the devices are not being disclosed. Shot Spotter became operational at noon Wednesday.

”Within an hour of implementation, we received our first notification of shots being fired near Hamilton and Barron,” said Rallings. “Officers made the scene and no victims were located however ballistics evidence was recovered.”

An Orange Mound mechanic shop owner told WMC it works.

“Police came in like five minutes,” said David Mauleon.

He said he heard five gunshots and was surprised to see police show up so quickly.

“In this particular area we should be able to pretty much capture almost all of those shots fired calls out those shots that are being fired for officers almost exactly to the point where those shots are fired,” said Rallings.

The Shot Spotter technology uses a series of small audio sensors deployed high up on top of light posts and buildings.

Rallings said Orange Mound is a high crime area which is why this area was chosen. Since the system was activated, 14 gunshots have been detected.

Rallings said the technology is used by more than 100 police departments across the nation.

The Shot Spotter system costs $650,000 and is being paid for with a federal grant. For now, it will just be in the Orange Mound area for three years but there is hope Shot Spotter can be expanded to others areas in the future.

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