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Indianapolis police one step closer to getting gunshot detection system

Nearly five-mile Near Eastside location chosen for test area
Posted at 7:16 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 19:16:29-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The deadline for gunshot detection system vendors looking to partner with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department expired Wednesday, meaning it's now in the department's hands to select one.

The technology could help police more quickly find the suspects and victims of gun violence.

Once it's set up, the ShotSpotter gun detection pilot system will be in place for three months, according to IMPD.

"Once the vendor is selected, we hope to get this in place as soon as possible," said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.

The system allows police officers to be notified within seconds after a shot is fired exactly where it occurred. It is used by many police departments across the country.

Foley said IMPD is laser-focused on fighting crime. He is optimistic about the system.

"We don't know if this is the right tool for Indianapolis, but it's something members of our community have asked for, and want to get an opportunity to see if it is something that works for us," he said.

The department has selected a nearly five-mile area of the Near Eastside neighborhood to test the program.

ShotSpotter systems will be placed along Massachusetts Avenue and East 21st Street, Emerson Avenue, East Washington Street, and North Oriental Street.

"It was an area on the near east side that has historically seen a fair amount of violent crime, specifically homicides, nonfatal shootings and robberies. One of the things we want to emphasize: we are focused on the crimes, not focused on individuals in an area going about their day," said Foley.

Foley added that violent crime is on a downward trend compared to last year's historic violence. He's hoping this technology will help continue to combat crime, but that decision is still up in the air.

"Ultimately, we will have to assess as a city if we like it. Is this something we will be willing to pay for because it's expensive technology so the city-county council, mayor's office, members of our community are going to have to look at that and say is the cost keeping or expanding it worth it for us," said Foley.