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ShotSpotter and Automated License Plate Reader up for renewal in Salinas

Salinas Police Officers Association

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Salinas subscription to ShotSpotter and Automated License Plate Reader is up for renewal.

They were originally scheduled on the city council's agenda for Tuesday's meeting, however, the city council said they're pulling the item along with the city's License Plate Reader contract to allow the Council's Police Citizen Advisory Committee to look at the contract for both programs on Thursday, Nov. 18, and recommend whether or not to accept funding for those programs.

These items are still open to public comments at Tuesday's meeting at 4 p.m.

Renewing the annual subscription to ShotSpotter would cost the city $455,000 from Dec. 14, 2021 to Dec. 13, 2022. The 24-month agreement to Automated License Plate Reader Cameras from Flock Group would cost $110,000.

However, Salinas Police advocate that these services are an essential tool for their department.

"ShotSpotter is an invaluable tool that assists officer and medical response to victims of gunshots without delay," said Salinas Police Department.

The Cameras and Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology is used to help solve crimes, especially those where cars are involved. The system is currently used mounted on patrol cars, but as ALPR technology evolved, it has become expensive. According to the city's agenda, the Salinas Police Department is looking to expand it to fixed locations in high crime areas.

The Salinas originally purchased a three-year subscription to ShotSpotter on August 31, 2016, and renewed the service again in February 2020 to Dec. 2020. Salinas renewed with ShotSpotter again last year, arguing that the alert system allowed the police to remove 26 guns off the street in 2019.

ShotSpotter uses sensors that are strategically placed in different parts of the city. Like GPS, ShotSpotter locates gunshots from sensors that captured the time and sound that might become from a shot that was fired. The machine's algorithm then classifies the event and a trained acoustic analyst from the company reviews and confirms whether the sound captured is actually gunfire. This analyst can also alert agencies and identify whether it was a fully automatic weapon fired or if the shooter is on the move.

"This process typically takes no more than 45 seconds from the time of the actual shooting to the digital alert (with the precise location identified as a dot on a map)popping onto a screen of a computer in the 911 Call Center or on a police officer’s smartphone or mobile laptop," according to the company's website.

You can read the full list of frequently asked questions by clicking here.

The Salinas City Council Meeting starts at 4 p.m. you can watch their Livestream below.

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Melody Waintal

Melody Waintal is the Digital Content Director for Telemund23.com and KION546.com

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