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ShotSpotter Technology Coming To West End, OTR, Westwood And More

Michael E. Keating

The Cincinnati Police Department plans to double the areas of the city covered by ShotSpotter technology.
ShotSpotter uses sensors on rooftops and street lights to listen for gunfire and notify police in 30-45 seconds. There are 20 sensors per square mile.

The system was launched on August 16, 2017. It also provides some coverage for parts of North Avondale, Mt. Auburn, Walnut Hills and Corryville.

By June it will soon expand to more than 13 square miles in two of the city's police districts.

"We will cover all of the West End and OTR, which unfortunately was our top two communities for shooting violence last year," said Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate. "So we're very excited to get the technology down into District 1."

Neudigate also said ShotSpotter will now cover more areas of District 3.

"We know that Westwood is a large footprint for us, unfortunately with a lot of gun violence," Neudigate said. "So that expansion in District 3 will cover Westwood, North and South Fairmount, parts of Roll Hill Apartments, and last but not least Evanston, which was number five for shooting violence for us in 2019."

The technology is not cheap. It costs $70,000 per square mile of coverage per year. That means the police department will spend $925,000 a year for it.

But Neudigate said the cost is worth it to reduce the number of shootings in the city. He said it also ends the perception that the department doesn't care about gunfire.

"Addressing gunfire in the city of Cincinnati is the number one priority for the Cincinnati Police Department," Neudigate said. "We want it to be a safe city. And now we are telling them and they're seeing that they're getting an immediate response and white hats 100% of the time that you have a shots fired incident within our coverage areas."

Many shots fired calls in the city never generate 911 calls, and therefore no police response to those incidents.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.