Mobile sees more community participation with ShotSpotter

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 4:51 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -Last summer the City of Mobile launched ShotSpotter as part of Operation Echo Stop which is the city’s approach to cut back on gun violence. The gunshot detection software uses cameras and microphones to pinpoint the exact location of a gunshot and sends that information directly to officers to help with faster response times. So far, they say it’s paying off.

“What we’re seeing is the citizens are engaging more. The technology is working and in terms of our efforts to combat gun violence in the city of Mobile we’re on the right track,” said Commander Kevin Levy.

Since the launch of the program ShotSpotter has detected several thousand rounds of gunfire. Commander Kevin Levy says they’ve seen that number go down recently. In the first three months of this year the program has detected 500 fewer rounds compared to the last 3 months of 2022.

“It’s not because the program is working less. It’s because there’s less gunfire which is something that should be appreciated but still every round fired is one round too many,” said Levy.

Commander Levy says this biggest win for ShotSpotter so far has been the increased participation from the community.

“If you go back to the end of 2022 where we were around 4% coming into the new year, we were bumping around 16% participation that means somebody heard a shot and notified law enforcement and now we’re pushing around 30%,” added Levy.

As they work towards even more participation. Commander Levy says soon they’ll be ready to move into phase 2 of Operation Echo Stop.

“What we would expect to see, and we hope our residents see and our community and our citizens is that there’s an increased presence of police responding to these issues and letting everybody know we’re willing to battle this problem alongside you,” said Levy.

If you see or hear any acts of gun violence, you’re urged to report them to the see something, say something tip line at 251-404-4066.