San Diego

ShotSpotter Program Detected Unreported Shootings: SDPD

Since this new technology was implemented around Thanksgiving last year, it shows about 75 percent of shootings in those neighborhoods go unreported.

New data released by the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) shows the force’s new ShotSpotter technology reports three times as many shootings than are called in to 911.

Still some members of the community say those numbers could change if the community had a better relationship with the police.

“On one hand I think it's good technology that can help keep our community safe. On the other hand, depending on how it's used, it could be a bad thing. We've seen that happen before,” said Calvin Clayton.

Clayton’s sentiment is representative of a lot of skepticism found in Encanto among residents.

“You put these shot spotters up in any city and it's probably going to show that they heard more shootings than were reported,” said community activist Bishop Cornelius Bowser.

Bowser has been vocal in opposition to the program since becoming aware of it. His biggest objections are the collection of data and the way it was rolled out. He said police did not properly notify the community.

“If they feel that there’s more violence here, or you're getting calls saying that people are scared, then let's have a conversation. The way we solve our problems is sitting down together,” he said.

Still, others see a benefit.

“Sometimes in neighborhoods like this, we do need it,” said Jony Gutierrez.

He’s a barber in Encanto. Just a week ago, he says a group of men threatened to shoot him after a fight.

But he made a critical point with this technology.

“Once it happens, it happens. It's already been done. But I guess it will be easier for the authorities to find whoever was responsible,” he said.

SDPD told NBC 7, since this new technology was implemented around Thanksgiving last year, it shows about 75 percent of shootings in these neighborhoods go unreported. And they say it’s very accurate.

It can triangulate down to a 10 to 15-foot radius of where a gunshot went off.

As to the question of why this community was chosen, police said gun violence was up last year and they wanted to test in an area with significant crime rates.

The program is slated to last a year.

Currently, the department said it is funded through forfeitures.

SDPD said it will then use public input to determine if they will continue after the year is up.

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