City considers gunshot detection devices to combat high crime rate

ALBANY, Ga. — “We have a problem here, I think we realize it. We are cognizant of the problem and we’re trying to do whatever we can to reduce violence and violent crime,” said Mayor Bo Dorough during the city’s commission meeting Tuesday.

In the latest crime report from the Albany Police Department, for the month of September, there had been 174 assault offenses including cases of aggravated assault, simple assault and intimidation. In response to what leaders have called “excessive crime” a public safety committee was formed last month to brainstorm and suggest solutions to combat Albany’s high crime rate. And during the commission meeting, the committee brought one solution for commissioners to consider: gunshot detection devices.

“Gunfire detection system has definitely surfaced to the top of tools that we believe and we want to present as a tool we want to pursue and talk about,” said commissioner Chad Warbington.

As part of the public safety commission, Warbington believes the system will help law enforcement efficiently hit crime head-on.

He says, 0-p“This certainly is going to help our current staff be more efficient and to respond more precisely. Instead of responding to a block, they’re going to be responding to a location.”

And while the technology is being hailed as accurate and efficient, eliminating a lot of the guesswork and investigating police go through when responding to crimes, Police Chief Michael Persely says there are some cons to the system.

“There is insufficient evidence to show that these systems contribute to an overall reduction of gun crimes, it is merely a tool,” he says what matters most is how the city implements the tool and uses it to their advantage.

The commission agreed to continue moving forward in the consideration process of obtaining these devices which could cost the city $220,000 dollars per every 2-3 square mile radius.