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Alabama Police Nab Shooter Hours After New Tech Goes Live

Mobile, Ala., police are praising their new gunfire detection system, ShotSpotter, which they say was used to arrest a juvenile shooter just hours after it first went live in the city earlier this week.

(TNS) — Mobile police are praising their new gunfire detection system, which was used to arrest a juvenile shooter hours after it went live on Tuesday.

According to a news release, the ShotSpotter system was used to detect a gunfire incident at 8:23 p.m. on Tuesday. After arriving to the location of the shooting, Mobile police were able to locate the shooter and arrest him. He was taken into custody and transported to Strickland Youth Center.

The ShotSpotter is one of the tools Mobile police plan to use to combat a rise in gun-related crimes as part of the agency’s Operation Echo Stop.

The city spent over $1.1 million to install cameras and contract (for three years) with the ShotSpotter system. The money came from the city’s portion of the American Rescue Plan Act. The expense was part of the city’s commitment of spending $5.1 million of their original $58.2 million allocation of COVID-19 relief funds for high-tech programs and other initiatives to help police combat a rise in gun-related violent crime, particularly homicides.

In Alabama, the city of Birmingham has long used ShotSpotter. The system was expanded in 2018, at a cost of $2.6 million, and has been the subject of controversy because of a lack of transparency in whether the program has been successful.

Gunshot detection in Mobile will be used in concert with patrols, intelligence and other technologies, but police say the “most important component of preventing gun violence is community involvement.”

A “See Something, Say Something” tip line has been created to help police provide assistance to communities who are negatively impacted by gun violence. Anyone can report gun violence day or night by calling or texting information to 251-406-4066.

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