Successful crime-fighting tool ShotSpotter likely heading to west side

Successful crime-fighting tool ShotSpotter likely heading to west side (WKRC)

EAST PRICE HILL, Ohio (WKRC) - A neighborhood that used to lead the city in shooting violence is quiet these days.

Mitch Morris is the community activist and has lived in the neighborhood for years. He said, "It's been a long run without any homicides."

Avondale was the first to get ShotSpotter technology and it's been a deterrent to criminals.

"They know they might have a half a second to try to get ahead or do whatever. If a gun is shot. They know the police is coming like right away," Morris said.

The system sends a signal to police whenever there's gunfire. It's connected to the dispatch center and officers’ cell phones.

Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate said, "So we've now had it in operation for over a year. We are down 50 percent in the number of shooting victims this year.”

Now police and city leaders are pushing to expand.

"The mayor, John Cranley, has initiated a conversation and now even an ordinance to say we want to take [ShotSpotter] to the west side of town and it's so important. A third of our community lives on the west side of town,” said Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman.

The west side has seen an uptick in shootings in 2018.

Although Mitch Morris lives in Avondale, he has been working in Price Hill since a quadruple shooting that happened at Ross and Warsaw avenues.

Police say ShotSpotter is just one of several crime-fighting tools that's helped Avondale. They're confident they'll see the same results in Price Hill.

Neudigate said, "When we're historically only responding to gunfire activity 15 percent of the time, it's very easy for the community to feel that the police department doesn't care. Well, now we're responding 100 percent of the time and we do care."

Smitherman says on Monday, Council will likely take a vote on whether to approve the $235,000 necessary to implement the system in Price Hill. There's also an annual licensing fee associated with it. The system currently covers three-square miles in Avondale. It would do the same in Price Hill.

There is no concrete date set on when ShotSpotter would be installed in Price Hill. Neudigate said that other cities have seen the success in Cincinnati and are leasing the technology. Cincinnati would have to wait behind those cities for implementation.

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