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.