ShotSpotter criticized by national police reform group
A national police reform group wants cities to stop using ShotSpotter, a service that identifies potential gun shots to theoretically alert police to crimes faster than 911, Axios' Russell Contreras reports.
- Campaign Zero launched its "Cancel ShotSpotter" campaign Thursday amid growing evidence that the technology is largely ineffective and can even make police interactions worse.
Why it matters: Chicago's 117-mile ShotSpotter system is one of the largest in the nation and has faced local scrutiny since its adoption in 2018.
- Last summer, Chicago's Inspector General issued a report saying the city's "ShotSpotter alerts rarely produce documented evidence of a gun-related crime, investigatory stop, or recovery of a firearm."
Yes, but: Despite the criticism, city officials quietly re-upped the $33 million ShotSpotter contract through August 2023.
- Activists discovered the renewal last summer and called on city officials to break the contract to instead invest in Black and Latino communities where the technology is used.
The other side: Some City Council members, including freshly announced mayoral candidate Ald. Ray López, have defended the program.
- "The last thing any of us want to do is strip technology our officers rely on to keep our residents safe," López told ABC-7 last November.
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