Shotspotter helps Peoria Police in first month

By Audrey Wise

December 19, 2013 Updated Dec 19, 2013 at 10:44 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- One month in, Peoria Police are finding a new gun fire detection system to be very effective.

"We can begin an investigation quicker. We can check for victims, check for evidence, locate witnesses," said Peoria Police Lt. Kenneth Snow of the new Shotspotter system.

Shotspotter was activated in Peoria November 20th. In the past month, Lt. Snow said it has detected 35 incidents of gunfire. Seven of those cases officers found actual evidence at the scene.

"That evidence may be important a week from now, a month from now or two years from now," said Lt. Snow.

None of them have resulted in finding a victim or led to an arrest. But, Lt. Snow, said it's only a matter of time.

Lt. Snow said, "The ultimate goal is to catch a perpetrator."

The contract with Shotspotter covers a 3-mile area, mostly in the south side and parts of the west bluff.

9-1-1 operator Kenny Wolf said it helps them, help the officers, "It's a lot more accurate than citizen calls and I think sometimes the citizens in those areas have just gotten so used to the gunshots sometimes they don't even call."

Lt. Snow said there have been a few minor software issues, but the IT department and Shotspotter officials are working through those.

Overall, he says everyone in the community benefits and the streets will be safer when gunfire is reduced in the city.

"If you're going to be discharging firearms in our city and doing that type of activity, the police are going to know about it," said Lt. Snow.