PRICE HILL, Ohio (WKRC) - Cincinnati Police say when guns are fired in the city, they only respond 16 percent of the time because most of the incidents go unreported. That's about to change.
Another neighborhood is about to get ShotSpotter, the technology that automatically notifies police when it detects gunfire.
"This neighborhood used to be one where the kids could go out on the street and play," said Patti Hogan, who has lived in Price Hill her whole life.
When Hogan was a child, she used to play on the streets. As an adult, she says she now patrols them as a concerned citizen.
"I'm telling you that things in Price Hill have declined," said Hogan. "And we're trying to not just push it back to where it was. We're trying to make it better."
In fact, there were reportedly shots fired about 10 days ago at a small park at Woodlawn and Warsaw avenues. Had this technology been deployed already, they may already have someone in custody for it. It was one of 103 shots-fired calls since Jan. 1 in East, West and Lower Price Hill. Police said that means there were probably 600 other times this year that shots were fired, but it was never reported.
When the city deployed ShotSpotter in Avondale in 2017, police say it helped to reduce shootings by 50 percent. In OTR, shootings were reduced by more than 60 percent. Police say there have been arrests, but the fact that they now respond to all incidents deters shootings and keeps the community engaged.
"If we're only there 16 percent of the time, the other 84 percent of the time they don't see a white hat and a car they become apathetic," said Assistant Chief Paul Neudigate with the Cincinnati Police Department. "We now respond 100 percent of the time and what we can tell you is that our standing in the eyes of the community is greatly increasing because of that."
Here's how it works: There are about 25 sensors installed per square mile. When shots are fired, the system triangulates and pinpoints the location of the shot within 25 meters. That signal is sent to ShotSpotter headquarters in California, analyzed and sent back to police computers and cell phones in Cincinnati. It all happens in less than a minute.
At $200,000 per year per area covered, it's not cheap. But the police and the community in Price Hill appear to believe it's worth it. Local 12 asked Hogan: "Do you think this is going to help?"
"Most definitely," she said.