FLINT, MI – The Flint Police Department is working to integrate ShotSpotter technology into city surveillance cameras, which the police chief says would be free for one year under the current camera contract of service.
The Police Department is in the research phase with this gunshot detection system technology intended to improve police response times to bullet calls, Flint Police Chief Terence Green told MLive. -The Flint Journal.
“We’re going to have an initial testing phase in part of the town of Flint and see if that helps us,” Green said. “We believe it will. The company we use is a company from which we have already purchased cameras. We integrate this ShotSpotter technology into the cameras we already have in town. This first year is free for us because we are already a customer.
As the ministry explores the technology, Green has no final date for its installation.
Green declined to comment on the company the department is contracting with or the number of cameras displayed in the city.
City Councilor Jerrif Winfrey Carter had pushed for additional funding for ShotSpotter technology in the city’s current tax budget, but city council ultimately got the votes to pass the additional funding.
Related: Flint City Council accepts budget on third attempt after weeks-long deadlock
The Council’s proposed amendments to this budget were many and varied before the budget was adopted in the Council’s third attempt.
The proposed changes included more than $ 3 million to fight the plague in the city; $ 4.2 million for additional surveillance cameras, additional funds for the Police Department’s Detective Office and the Shotspotter Gun Location Service, and $ 5,000 payments to essential city employees who have worked during the coronavirus pandemic.
Three changes requested by council were added to the spending plan prior to its approval on June 14. The changes add $ 60,000 to the city clerk’s office, $ 20,000 to the Hasselbring Senior Center and $ 20,000 to the Brennan Community Senior Center.
Green said he wanted to explore installing ShotSpotter technology in the city for a free period.
Once the technology is tested, the police department will have information to determine whether or not it helps fight crime in the city and can present it to council for years to come, he said.
“I have had conversations with the city of Detroit and other agencies that have used a ShotSpotter,” Green said. “They’ve had success with that and I think all the gunshots and the drive-throughs, I think it might be worth the investment. We will do all we can to fight this violent crime. We’re going to hit these car shooters, these individuals involved in gun violence, we’re going to hit them with whatever we have so more technology that will help us do our jobs, help men and women do their jobs, we let’s invest in it.
Related: Flint still without ShotSpotter as Detroit launches pilot fire detection system
Flint is set to have a SpotShotter program in 2011 with former Mayor Dayne Walling saying the program is being implemented in the city through partnerships and at no cost to city taxpayers. However, funding to start the program in 2012 failed, officials later said.
This year, the town of Flint has seen an upsurge in violent crime and homicides.
As of Sunday, August 29, there had been 48 homicides in Flint this year, according to the most recent criminal data from the Police Department. Since then, there have been two homicides in the city.
There had been a total of 34 homicides as of August 29, 2020, according to departmental crime data.
The homicide figures for the year include one case of manslaughter, one case of negligent homicide involving a vehicle, boat or snowmobile, and two cases of justifiable homicide.
Green said the police department was working hard to tackle the increase in crime but needed residents to speak out if they knew anything about crimes in the city.
Anyone with information about a crime is urged to contact the Flint Police Department at 810-237-6800 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers of Flint and Genesee County at 1-800-422-JAIL (5245) , on the P3Tips mobile. app, or online at CrimeStoppersofFlint.com.
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