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ShotSpotter program finds success; takes dozens off guns of the streets

ShotSpotter detects outdoor gunfire and sends an alert to officers.

TOLEDO, Ohio — According to new data from the Toledo Police Department, their new gunshot-audio detection program called "ShotSpotter" is helping keep more guns off the streets. 

ShotSpotter detects outdoor gunfire and sends an alert to officers. 

Toledo police accumulated all of their reports from their program so far and dozens of firearms have been confiscated. 

Leaders at Brightside Academy in north Toledo agreed to have a ShotSpotter placed on the exterior of the building. It was a contribution to safety they were happy to oblige. 

"We just have to work together as communities to make sure that we're all on the same page and to make sure the neighborhood stays safe for the children, especially for us," Academy Director Mari Beth Tercha said.

Since the programs launch six months ago, 36 guns have been taken off the streets because of illegal gunfire. Police have also conducted more than 50 arrests. 

An astounding statistic that ShotSpotter provided to Toledo Police when they introduced the program was that only 20% of illegal gunfire is called in to 911.

"It's incredible that we're not hearing a lot about this illegal gunfire. People just aren't calling it in. If they're used to it, that's really unfortunate. We just want to improve that and make the city a great place to live for everybody," TPD spokesperson Lt. Kellie Lenhardt said.

Tercha said that she's excited their business may have contributed to reducing crime and potential violence within the city. 

TPD police chief George Kral is interested in expanding ShotSpotter throughout the city. The program was funded through a grant, so it will all come down to financials and whether it's feasible to do so. 

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