Gunfire detecting technology could expand into more Cincinnati neighborhoods

Cincinnati police Chief Eliot Isaac wants to expand a strategy known as Shot Spotter to reduce violent crime.

Shot Spotter helps pinpoint gunfire within 82 feet, according to the police chief.

The technology was implemented across a 3-square-mile area last year that covers Avondale, North Avondale, Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn and Corryville neighborhoods.

Isaac said they’ve seen a 21 percent reduction in shooting victims and a 14 percent reduction in violent crime calls since then.

It’s already shown success in one area of town, and now they want to target the community of Price Hill on the west side.

“We’re dealing with a spike in gun violence. We’re one of the few neighborhoods in the city where we’ve seen increases and we need to become proactive on this. I mean, gun violence is scary stuff,” Price Hill business owner Pete Witte said.

Witte said the Shot Spotter would be a welcome addition to his neighborhood and surrounding area.

“This is a tool that helps the police address the issue. It helps them identify true hot spots where you have consistent gun activity,” Witte said.

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman said he supports the idea.

“What’s happening is the bad guy knows, or people who are shooting a gun in Avondale, we’re coming and I mean 100 percent of the time, we’re responding,” Smitherman said.

The cost to expand the technology to another part of town is $250,000.

The budget committee will discuss the issue on Monday. City Council could vote on the plan as early as next Wednesday.