Toledo police may soon deploy acoustic system to listen for gunshots

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TOLEDO - (WTVG) - In some Toledo neighborhoods, the sound of gun shots is almost routine.

Crime is down city-wide in all categories except shootings.

So Toledo police are about to employ a new weapon.

It's called the ShotSpotter Gunshot Detection system.

According to the company's website video, the system deploys acoustic sensors on top of buildings and lampposts. When gunshots are detected, an alert is generated and analysts quickly dispatch police to the exact spot of the crime.

The company says the entire transaction take less than 60-seconds.

Typically, police respond to a shooting if a 9-1-1 call is made and it take maybe 5-minutes to arrive.

But 70% of the time, no calls are made.

Toledo city councilman Gary Johnson, who chairs the Public Safety committee says, "We feel that will definitely save time and help us reduce the activity that goes on."

There are drawbacks.

For instance, the system cannot describe a suspect.

That concerns Tyrone Tyson, to a point. He told 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, "It's definitely not going to hurt I just don't know how much it's going to help."

And there is concern the microphones will record private conversations on the street.

But Khloe Gordon sees the ShotSpotter as the next step in crime fighting technology.

"They have cameras so it's like, What else do you expect after that?", she says.

One likely neighborhood for placement of the system is the Detroit and Nebraska area.

This system will cost $310,000 but none of it is Toledo tax dollars; It comes from a grant.

Council is expected to approve spending that money at next week's meeting.

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