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New gunshot detection technology could help protect Cape Girardeau residents

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 5:43 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The City of Cape Girardeau hopes to bring a new shooter detection system to area to crack down on crime.

They are planning to use ShotSpotter technology, the city hopes will save lives, solve cases and deter crime.

Some residents also hope this will help.

“I’m honestly scared to go home. And, leave my apartment at morning noon and night for work, for school, for groceries or whatever,” said a resident at the Legends apartment complex.

She tells me she’s scared for her safety due to the rise in gunshots outside her home, including an incident on Tuesday.

“The shootings have happened in broad daylight. They have happened at 2 a.m. as a drive by,” resident Rachel Pinnon said. “So, you never know when to expect them.”

Pinnon witnessed the violence firsthand.

“A car drove up on the side of the building. Some guy was hanging out the window yelling something and fired more shots. And I was the only person out there.”

She said it was terrifying to witness the crime and since then she has felt unsafe.

“It doesn’t matter if they are shooting at anybody or not. They’re putting people in danger.”

Cape Police Chief Wes Blair said, with an uptick in crime throughout the city, he decided to look at getting help to fight the crime, via technology.

“ShotSpotter is gunshot detection software, that triangulates gunshots. It will give us real time information,” Chief Blair said. “It shows us exactly where gunshots were fired, how many shots were fired, even direction of fire for gunshots. So that we can get officers right to the scene immediately.”

Gerard Tate, the community engagement director said the ShotSpotter system has proven to work in major cities across the country.

“It’s getting law enforcement officers to scenes to secure them quickly, so if there are victims, we can get EMS or other support services there,” Tate said. “So, it’s highly effective.”

This makes communities safer, which is what some Legends residents, like Pinnon, wants to see happen.

“If the police were able to respond to a specific place so quickly, people might actually have consequences,” Pinnon said.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, a vote will be made to authorize the city manager to execute an agreement with ShotSpotter to install the gunshot detection technology.

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