A grant has allowed North Chicago to deploy ShotSpotter technology, which notifies police immediately whenever gunshots are fired in the city, officials announced.
The real-time alerts notify police precisely when and where gun incidents occur, resulting in a faster, more accurate response to the scene to better recover evidence, interview witnesses, and attend to gunshot victims, according to a city spokesperson.
The overall goal is to reduce gun violence and improve the safety of the community, said Jim Moran, Community Information Coordinator for North Chicago.
A grant from North Chicago-based pharmaceutical company AbbVie allowed the city to purchase ShotSpotter.
“We are grateful to AbbVie for helping our city obtain the latest and best technology available to combat gun violence,” North Chicago Mayor, Leon Rockingham, Jr. said. “ShotSpotter is one more resource our police department will have to make our streets safer.”
The City of North Chicago said they remain committed to reducing illegal gun use and ShotSpotter is part of their larger initiative to combat violence.
ShotSpotter helps police departments go from reactive to proactive by eliminating the reliance on delayed and underreported 911 calls.
Research shows fewer than 20 percent of gunshots are called in to 911.
North Chicago Police Chief Lazaro Perez says ShotSpotter is one part of a larger proactive approach to making the community safer.
“We increased our public outreach and community relations,” Perez said. “Having additional tools like ShotSpotter will make it easier for our officers to respond to and address gun issues.”
ShotSpotter instantly notifies officers of gunshot crimes in progress, enabling them to mobilize with real-time data delivered directly to dispatch centers, patrol cars and smartphones.
The gunfire data also enables law enforcement agencies to improve evidence collection, prosecution, and overall police effectiveness.