New gunshot detection technology will help fight crime, cops say - FOX 32 News Chicago

New gunshot detection technology will help fight crime, cops say

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago Police say new gunshot detection technology will target high crime areas on the West and South sides of the city. Police say it will provide officers with critical information long before 911 is ever called, helping them fight crime.

The family of 28-year-old Kenton Morgan welcomes the announcement of new gunshot detection technology.

Wednesday night, Morgan was sitting in his car after getting his haircut when he was shot and killed in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

"If it could help solve some or help prevent someone being fatally shot or prevent someone's family having to go through what my family is going through now, I think it's great," said Morgan's cousin, Andrea Simmons.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy agrees. McCarthy said the installation of ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology will deliver real-time information to officers in the field.

"This is a program that I actually used in Newark, New Jersey and we found it to be very very successful," McCarthy explained. "The new technology is positioned in two 1.5 square mile areas."

McCarthy says the new detection technology will border the Englewood, Chicago Lawn, Harrison and Grand Crossing Districts and use acoustic sensors to detect and locate gunfire.

"And it can distill the difference between fireworks, backfires from vehicles and things of the like within seconds of the event occurring," says McCarthy. "The officers in the field are directed very quickly to these locations resulting in arrests even before 9-1-1 calls are received from the public."

But Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields says the real crime-fighting tactic is being ignored.

"I find it rather alarming that the very day after the aldermen are complaining about not having enough police officers on the street, Superintendent McCarthy is going to have a press conference about something that's totally different and it's kind of not fair to the citizens of Chicago that are seeking a response towards manpower," says Shields.

Critics are concerned about the technology's accuracy but Superintendent McCarthy said it will enhance police response time in dangerous situations. .

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