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How ShotSpotter Can Be A Game Changer for Avondale

avondale_shot_spotter.jpg
Ann Thompson
/
WVXU
Violence in Avondale can be quickly traced with the new ShotSpotter technology.

In Avondale, a Cincinnati neighborhood with an "overabundance and saturation of gunfire activity," police have a new way of pinpointing it so they can get any victims to the hospital and collect evidence.

Shotspotter uses sensors on rooftops and street lights to listen for gunfire and notify police in 30-45 seconds. There are twenty sensors per square mile.

This could be a game changer for police. Assistant Chief Paul Neudigate says eighty percent of gunfire goes unreported. "One of the reasons that only twenty percent of their calls are called into 911 is community apathy because they feel the police don't care. Because most of the time, they call it in, but we really don't know where we're going."

Neudigate says many times officers are guessing at the location and that guess could be blocks away.

But with ShotSpotter, which will be activated by the end of August, police will be able to not only track down suspects, but get a jump on trends and work with the community to prevent the violence.

ShotSpotter may be expanded to other neighborhoods.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.