Houston Leaders Combat Violent Crime with New Gunshot Detection Technology

Houston City Council on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to approve a five-year $3.5 million contract for a controversial gunshot detection technology in the city — a decision that advocates say would waste city funds while further disenfranchising underserved communities.

ShotSpotter technology uses acoustic sensors to detect and locate gunfire in an area. An alert is then sent to “trained acoustic experts” for review, according to the company. The program is currently being used by law enforcement in 122 cities and counties across the U.S., including Harris County, according to the program’s website.

CJR Director Howard Henderson says, "If they can show it works, then it’s something I think the community would love to have."

“But the question is, have they [Houston's City Council] had a conversation with the community about the approaches to solving gun violence?”

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