St. Pete could soon add ShotSpotter Technology

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 17:10:52-04

Tracking gunshots. Thursday, St. Petersburg took the first steps towards adding new technology to pinpoint every time someone pulls a trigger. St. Pete's Public Safety Committee decided to move forward with discussions on adding ShotSpotter technology. 

ShotSpotter is already being used in Hillsborough County to reduce gun violence.

Here’s how it works: Microphone like sensors are installed around town. They're used to pick up sound waves. Within 30 seconds, officers are sent the exact location of the gunshot.

Marvin Mitchell says it’s much needed. He’s often kept up at night hearing gunshots. Wednesday night he heard sounds so loud, he was forced to get on his stomach on the floor of his living room. “I heard it go boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! I said ‘oh man!’ all I can do is hit the ground.”

He often hears gunshots in his Midtown St Pete neighborhood.

Calvin Brown of the Pinellas County Urban League agrees, “It will help a lot of people sleep better at night.”

The only drawback: ShotSpotter will cost the city $350,000 a year plus the cost to upgrade cameras and add license plate scanners.

City leaders plan to bring ShotSpotter back up during the upcoming budget workshops for the city.