ShotSpotter leads to quick arrest hours after going live, MPD says

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – After a smooth rollout last month, ShotSpotter officially went live on Tuesday.

“Since its relatively recent inception, we’ve already had tremendous success,” said Commander Kevin Levy.

Just hours after the official launch, MPD claims that ShotSpotter has detected its first shot. This information led officers directly to a 17-year-old who was arrested just minutes after the shooting.

“By reducing response time, we’re able to collect better evidence, we’re able to identify bad actors in the community faster,” Levy said.

Getting violent offenders off the streets faster is a top priority for MPD. Community members say they are happy that agents have another tool to help them.

“It seems we hear a lot about gun violence here downtown more than anywhere else. Anything that could help curb that would be nice,” Gil Rollins said.

“I think it’s great if the city can afford it,” Kenneth Smith said.

“Everywhere, everywhere, every block.”

Mobile Police Commander Kevin Levy says ShotSpotter information is sent directly from the scene, providing real-time information to responding officers.

“It also provides additional security for our officers,” Levy added. “They know what they’re approaching and where it might be.”

Commander Levy says gunshot detection is just one use of ShotSpotter. He says MPD also plans to use him as a conversation starter.

“It gives us factual pieces of data that we can take homeowners and community members and say, look, this happened just around the corner,” Levy said. “We can have a real conversation about things people can do.”

MPD would like to point out that it always wants the opinion of the community. If you see a crime being committed, you are of course always encouraged to call 911, but you are also encouraged to call or text the See Something Say Something tip line at 251-404-4066 to report the armed violence.

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