Houston City Council votes to expand HPD's gunfire detection program

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Houston city council in showdown over 'ShotSpotter' program
A $3.5 million program aimed at deterring gun crimes in Houston is dividing citizens and the city council, which is considering its approval.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A program that Houston police said has helped them make several arrests will be expanded.

The program's expansion comes weeks after a vote for it had been delayed in December by Council Member Mike Knox, who wanted to see more data on the program beforehand.

The video above is from a previous story.

Gun violence is an issue in many Houstonians' minds. To combat rising gun violence, HPD launched its pilot program "ShotSpotter" in 2019. There are sensors in parts of the city that monitor when a gun is fired. At that moment, it alerts officers.

On Wednesday, Houston City Council voted to extend the program. According to the city council's website, the program is under a five-year contract term and cannot exceed $3.5 million for gunshot detection solution services.

The contract is for the program to sustain its operation and availability for use by HPD.

At last glance in December, the program helped HPD receive more than 2,300 alerts involving more than 8,600 gunshots. It's helped them make 54 arrests and help 16 gunshot victims. But officers said it's about more than that.

Officers also found more than 1,700 cartridges, which can solve other crimes. They've also recovered nearly 40 guns.


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