DPD Researching Gunshot Detection Technology

There is interest in implementing technology in Dallas that can locate where gunshots are coming from. It's called ShotSpotter and it's already being used by police in other cities across the country.

The gunshot detection technology works very similar to cell phone towers in pinpointing locations of cell phones, only it's looking for bullets.

he new Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall says she wants to know more about ShotSpotter and how it can help fight crime.

Nathan Franklin owns New Swagg Fades N Styles in North Dallas and says he's an eyewitness to daily violence in the area. 

"They had words and the next thing you know he got on top of him and shot him about three or four times and I'm like, 'golly,'" said Franklin.

As a local business owner and father of four, Franklin said he's frustrated with the number of shootings and unsolved cases.

"That's the rule of the streets no snitching, you snitch, you get stitches," Franklin said.

Some argue the advanced technology might help change that.

"That's something I'm going to fight for until we get it here in Dallas," said Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway. He says he's trying to get the Dallas Police Department to invest in the gunshot detection system. 

The technology monitors gunfire activity through specialized sensors that are placed on top of buildings in criminal hot-spots. On the ShotSpotter website, it's explained in detail and says the precise location of the sound is based on the amount of time it takes for the sound of the gunshot to travel to each individual sensor, effectively triangulating the sound. 

"This technology can aid us in apprehending much quicker and stopping some of the gunshots and gun violence that we're currently faced with," Caraway said. 

Nearly 100 police departments use it, including New York. The NYPD told NBC 5 that "crime is at historic lows in our city thanks to the NYPD's innovative precision and neighborhood policing strategies, which utilize cutting-edge technology like ShotSpotter."

"I know for sure we need that in North Dallas we need that in Dallas, period," Franklin said. 

Caraway says especially in neighborhoods near Interstate 635 and Skillman Road and in South Dallas. It's something DPD says they're researching.  

The technology costs up to $85,000 a square mile. Mayor Pro Tem Caraway says although it's expensive, you can't put a price tag on a life.

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