CLEVELAND — In an effort to combat gun violence, the City of Cleveland has announced that it is expanding its ShotSpotter technology to all five of its Neighborhood Police Districts.
According to a release from the City of Cleveland, studies show more than 80 percent of gunfire incidents are not reported to 9-1-1. ShotSpotter is used to help law enforcement to identify and locate incidents of outdoor gun violence that may have otherwise gone unreported to law enforcement. The technology sends an alert within 60 seconds of a gunshot being fired, notifying officers precisely when and where gun incidents occur and allowing for a fast, location-specific response that can save lives and preserve evidence.
“The results of Cleveland’s ShotSpotter pilot show that this technology is effective and is making a difference,” Mayor Justin M. Bibb said in a statement. “ShotSpotter is one of many tools we are incorporating in our fight against gun violence. We are focused on investing in technology and intelligence to reduce gun homicides in our city.”
“The ShotSpotter technology is an incredibly important element that is greatly improving the capabilities of police officers to act swiftly in the event of critical incidents,” added Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond. “Data reflects that shootings are responded to faster, and lives are saved, which is by far the greatest benefit. Having this technology available in each of the five neighborhood police districts is extremely valuable.”
The Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) first launched a pilot program to use ShotSpotter technology on a three-year lease in Fourth District in 2020. In the time since, the system has detected more than 10,000 incidents, including over 24,000 rounds fired.
According to a release, the technology was instrumental in saving 12 lives, with victims being provided immediate medical aid by both police officers and Emergency Medical Service. The use of ShotSpotter has also resulted in law enforcement taking 66 firearms off the streets of the City of Cleveland.
The expansion of the use of ShotSpotter will be funded through a $2.76 million American Rescue Plan allocation. Additionally, the Bibb administration also issued an RFP through the Department of Urban Analytics and is finalizing a contract with Cleveland State University’s Criminology Research Center to independently evaluate ShotSpotter’s effectiveness and determine its impact on building community trust.