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Council approves second year of ShotSpotter for Toledo Police

ShotSpotter was officially started in Toledo in late June 2019 (WNWO).
ShotSpotter was officially started in Toledo in late June 2019 (WNWO).
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Installed in a four mile section of North Toledo, ShotSpotter is back for year two.

"Yes, not even a year into the program, there's been more than 50 firearms recovered off the streets. Whether those were involved in shooting incidents, felonius assaults, just celebratory gunfire, in any case, discharging that firearm within the city is dangerous and it's getting those illegal guns and illegal gunfire off the streets," said Lt. Kellie Lenhardt.

ShotSpotter uses acoustic sensors to find gunshots, and will let police know in 30 seconds that it happened.

The $273,000 payment was approved by city council on Tuesday, just over 10 months after it was officially started in Toledo.

During that time, the Toledo Police Department has responded to about 750 incidents featuring more than 3,000 gunshots.

In total, almost 70 people have been arrested and over 50 guns are now off the streets because of ShotSpotter.

"Whether it is people discharging rounds in their background for whatever reason, or one of the most recent arrests we had came in as a ShotSpotter alert and they were able to take a suspect into custody, who fired a round at somebody who was standing outside of his home," added Lt. Lenhardt.

When ShotSpotter was first pitched to TPD, the ultimate goal was to expand in more areas of the city. As of now, the second year will just feature the current setup.

One big thing that the department has learned from the technology is that citizens only report about 20% of gunfire.

"That's proven to be exactly how much of it is reported or is not reported. That's really disappoint that citizens hear this and they don't want to call 911 for whatever reason. We want to be able to increase that 911 response, and if somebody is discharging a firearm illegally in the neighborhood, to be able to take that firearm off the street and prevent anyone getting hurt," said Lt. Lenhardt.

Of the alerts that Toledo Police have received from ShotSpotter, about 83% of them end up being reported as actual "incidents."

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