Detroit city council postpones vote on expansion of controversial ShotSpotter network

Proposed expansion vote moved to next week

Detroit police and local reverends say that this technology can help deter crime and keep people safe. Alerts from ShotSpotter technology can help notify Detroit police before a 911 call can of a shooting. Police chief James White and local reverends say ShotSpotter technology will keep people safe and helps deter crime.

DETROIT – Dozens of Detroiters showed up to city hall opposing the $8 million expansion of ShotSpotter technology.

Many residents say that the technology could put innocent people at risk and that purchasing the technology is a waste of COVID-19 relief funding.

Detroit police and local reverends say that this technology can help deter crime and keep people safe. Alerts from ShotSpotter technology can help notify Detroit police before a 911 call can of a shooting. Police chief James White and local reverends say ShotSpotter technology will keep people safe and helps deter crime.

“I apologize if my animation offends some but I have been up since 1 a.m. on a shooting scene, with a cop fighting for his life in an inexplicable violent act, and I need this council to stand with me for what’s right,” said White during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Among the Detroiters that were opposing the technology, expansion stated how upset they were about the data behind the ShotSpotter network.

“How can they lie to our faces? It’s insulting. The data speaks for itself. Why will Detroit be different from Chicago and other cities,” said Nancy Parker, a resident against ShotSpotter.

ShotSpotter is currently operating in the 8th and 9th Precincts covering close to seven square miles.

Detroit City Council postponed the Tuesday vote for one week, but expanded the existing pilot project in the 8th and 9th precincts through 2023. If Detroit City Council agrees on the expansion, the technology will cover up to 28 square miles.

Below is a graphic and video of how ShotSpotters work:


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.