Cape Girardeau police chief presents 2022 ShotSpotter data to city council

Cape Girardeau police chief reports on 2022 ShotSpotter statistics.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau police chief presented the department’s annual crime report to city council on Monday, March 20.

Police Chief Wes Blair told city leaders that the city is safer than it was a year ago, with overall crime in Cape Girardeau dropping 11 percent last year.

However, police investigated more shootings, which they expected because of the city’s new ShotSpotter System.

“What we’ve seen is in the areas where we have ShotSpotter, we’re getting more alerts than we are getting 911 calls,” Chief Blair said.

The city installed the ShotSpotter technology in April of last year. The system uses audio sensors to detect gunshots, which Blair said helps police learn about shootings that would otherwise go unreported.

“So only 33 percent of the ShotSpotter alerts actually have a corresponding 911 call with them in that area, so that tells us is that there’s a large group of our citizens that don’t call when they hear gunfire,” Blair said.

The annual crime report shows the system alerted police 83 times in the last year leading to multiple felony arrests.

While the system has lead to a greater number of shooting investigations, Blair said he believes it’s making the city a better place to live.

“When the people on the street hear gunfire and they actually see police officers responding directly to that, I think that enhances their feeling of well-being because they know the police are right there,” Blair said.