Sanford hopes for new technology to help pinpoint gunshot locations



SANFORD, Fla. - Following six shooting in Sanford over the weekend, Channel 9 learned about a high-tech program police there said could help them fight back against the spike in gun violence.

Officials want to install software that can pinpoint gunfire in the city the moment shots are fired.

Sanford police said the goal is to cut crime and to save lives, and they believe the new technology, which will be mounted on rooftops, will help make the city safer.

"It's a deadly game being played out there, and we're hoping to bring an end to it," said interim Chief Richard Myers.

To curb the violence, the police department is hoping to bring in a gunshot detection technology called ShotSpotter.

Once a gun is fired, sound detection devices placed on light poles and rooftops will be able to pinpoint the exact location of the shooting, and police can be dispatched to that location within seconds.

"It can not only tell us where that gunshot went off, it has a strong indication of what caliber it is and that can really help us in keying in on where the problems are," said Myers.
Many gunshots go unreported or at times, callers don't have a clue where the shots were fired, officials said.

That's something, police said, the new technology would help eliminate.

"Everybody who has invested in (ShotSpotter) has seen a tremendous payback in their investment in turns of in reducing gun violence," said Myers.

The only problem is the price, because the system could cost the city several hundred thousand dollars that is not in the budget. So, officials are looking into grants and a possible partnership with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

"If we have some community partners come in and are willing to make and investment for the startup cost, maybe we can get this up and running soon," said Myers.

The ShotSpotter technology is already being used in several places in Florida, including Broward County, Miami Gardens and Riviera Beach.