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Friday, November 18, 2011

Flint To Implement ShotSpotter Technology As A New Tool In The Fight Against Gun Violence

On Thursday, November 17, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling announced details of a new unique partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and SST, Inc., the world leader and innovator in wide-area acoustic surveillance and gunfire location and alert technology, to subscribe to SST’s ShotSpotter Flex™ solution to detect and locate gunfire incidents and gather gunfire intelligence in its effort to fight crime and gun violence.  The Flint Housing Commission is also part of this very important partnership.

The Flint Police Department will use the ShotSpotter Flex service for real-time and immediate gunshot location data, enabling informed decisions for faster and more accurate emergency response, while improving situational intelligence and increasing first responder safety. The ShotSpotter gunfire alert data and intelligence will also provide the Flint Police Department with more forensic evidence leading to more thorough investigations and increased prosecutions for gun-related crime. The data also enhances crime analysis and predictive policing capabilities, helping improve public safety and security.

The City of Flint, along with state and federal officials and community leaders are committed to making Flint a safer community and have initiated this unique partnership to reduce Flint’s gun violence and crime. Funding for this project is coming from several sources in partnership with the City; however, no City funds are being used in this phase of the project. In the partnership, the Flint Police Department will receive the critical gunfire data provided by the ShotSpotter Flex solution and enabled by SST’s sensor infrastructure. The technology will be deployed in areas with high concentrations of illegal gunfire and the Flint Police Department will use the newly attainable data for its strategic and tactical policing operations, crime analysis, investigations, and prosecutorial efforts.

“This partnership is vitally important to helping improve the safety and security of Flint’s residents. We recognize the challenges we’re experiencing with gun violence and its impact on the quality of life for our citizens and the vitality of our community. To be able to do this now without using any City funds is an exceptional opportunity,” said Mayor Walling. “We’re particularly excited about the ShotSpotter Flex solution and expect it to be a great enhancement to our policing initiatives and provide our officers with the information they need to respond faster to gunfire, investigate illegal gun use, and effectively help catch and prosecute perpetrators.”

“We’re confident that our use of the ShotSpotter Flex solution will have a tremendous impact on our efforts to reduce gun violence and illegal gunfire in Flint,” said Flint Chief of Police Alvern Lock. “It is important that law-abiding members of the community know that we are committed to keeping their communities safe from gun violence. It’s equally important for those who commit acts of gun violence to know that we will now have the intelligence to detect gunfire and if they fire a gun illegally, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The ShotSpotter Flex technology is expected to be fully operational in Flint in early 2012.