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Tired Of Gunshots — Or Hearing What You Think Are Gunshots?

Southeast Atlanta residents are pushing for passage of usage of gunfire location technology.

by Jason Genung

Do you feel like we experience too much random gunfire in Atlanta?  Have you had to patch your roof from random bullets or found random bullets in your cars, walls, or around the yard?  I'm guessing many of you have or know someone that has.

Are you tired of it?

Three local neighbors spent months trying to see an end to celebratory gunfire through deployment of gunfire location technology. After months of work, those same neighbors need five minutes of your time to give this technology the best possible chance at deployment.

Ron Lall, our Neighborhood Planning Unit-W public safety committee chairman, sent out an e-mail two weeks ago discussing an initiative to launch ShotSpotter gunshot location technology in Atlanta. This technology is capable of detecting the source of gunfire within inches and allows distinguishing between actual gunfire events and other sounds which mimic gunfire, such as fireworks. Technical info is available at www.shotspotter.com.

In short, Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond proposed an ordinance that would allow for funding of the Shot Spotter technology in Atlanta. This is exactly what we need to isolate where gunfire is coming from and allow the Atlanta Police Department to respond to the exact site of gunfire incidents. This proposed ordinance was held recently and is up for discussion with all involved parties. Now is the time to request support from our representatives!

If it bothers you that we can't tell the difference between gunfire and fireworks, that our APD officers waste time driving around in circles trying to locate a possible gunfire event, or that we can't prove where gunfire is coming from with any certainty, please take a moment to help.

Please see the attached PDF file, which contains the e-mail addresses of pertinent city of Atlanta staff, along with some sample messages of support for the technology and funding that was recently proposed. If this technology is appealing to you, I implore you to open your e-mail and send out those five messages to the identified parties using the e-mail addresses supplied along with the sample message and/or any message you want them to read. Please add a pertinent subject line to the e-mail(s) asking for support to fund/deploy/launch gunshot location technology in our city before sending. 

Mr. Genung, of Boulevard Heights, is a member of South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development. SAND advocates for the interests of the Southeast Atlanta communities of Benteen Park, Boulevard Heights, Glenwood Park, Custer/McDonough/Guice, North Ormewood Park, Ormewood Park and Woodland Hills.

LVR May 11, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Leslie - Great question. I would like to know what the money is being diverted from as well.
Earl Williamson, RN May 11, 2012 at 09:45 PM
The material I have found indicates an initial cost of $350,000 to cover 6 square miles. I have not found any info re. ongoing monitoring costs. For 132 square miles of city that works out to $7,700,000. All for an offense that is at best a state misdemeanor.
Earl Williamson, RN May 11, 2012 at 10:03 PM
From Oakland, Ca. City Council Report: 6 square mile coverage, no direct interface with patrol units - $ 367,000 installation and licenses - $ 55,000 annual - $ 4,000 additional line charges Results: 2800 alerts 9 arrests Some agencies report ongoing accuracy issues and system is apparently affected by topography, types of building materials, transportation and other variables.
Péralte Paul May 12, 2012 at 02:03 AM
In the initial year, it would be $1.3 to $1.4 million or thereabouts to install the system and ramp up. After that, it's roughly $1 million a year to maintain. In Atlanta, the discussion has been to put it around a 25-square-mile area in SE ATL ranging from East lake west to the city limits on the other side of the Connector.
Carol May 21, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I am hearing gun shots almost every night, I called the police around 1 am last night,

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