STOCKTON (CBS13) — The city of Stockton is poised to move forward with new technology that helps police track gunfire in the city.
Stockton Police have been using the Shotspotter technology for nine months for free. But if they want to keep using it, it will cost $100,000 a year.
The program targets a high-crime area with dozens of sensors that relay the location of a gunshot almost immediately. The sensors listening for the shots have heard plenty of them in the last nine months.
“I’ve been here since March of 1973. And gunshots, hearing them all the time now,” said Andre Washington.
Officer Joe Silva says shots are so common on some Stockton streets that people don’t bother to call police. That’s where Shotspotter comes in.
Dozens of sensors in a two-mile radius can tell officers in seconds where someone fired a gun.
“We know exactly how many shots are being fired and they can even break it down into the caliber of the gun that is being used,” he said.
The City Council now wants to pay for the program for a year. The system alerted police to more than 300 incidents of gunfire while the public only called in 60 of them. In that gunfire were two homicides.
Mom Rosa Perez thinks the system is worth the money. She says far too many times when guns go off, people just put their heads down.
“A lot of people don’t like to call because they are scared that, ya know, retaliation against them,” she said.
Stockton Police are applying for grants to reduce the potential cost of the system. The City Council will vote on the issue with the budget in late June.