Dames defends ShotSpotter program
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames defended the government’s investment in the ShotSpotter program amid questions over whether the technology was useful in responding to a mass shooting in Montell Heights over a week ago that left 17 people injured.
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis last week called the program a bad investment.
When asked about ShotSpotter on Tuesday, Dames said, “I’m not going to get caught up in the persons out there who obviously have an agenda, and speaking negatively about a technology that they know very little about.”
Dames said he’s surprised by the criticism.
“…We’re putting it and employing it throughout the field on New Providence,” he said.
“The officers are speaking highly of it.”
Dames said he’s had the opportunity to see the system in action.
“…I think it’s an added tool,” he said.
“At the end of the day, no one tool is going to solve our problems.
“We need a combination of tools, and hence the reason why we’re going to employ drones, we’re going to employ more cameras on our streets and we’re going to integrate the technology.”
He added, “We’re not going to get caught up in persons using this as an opportunity for political gain. First, they must come to understand the technology and how it works before you can make a comment about it.”
ShotSpotter was launched in March.
The system will be able to pick up simultaneous gunfire at any outdoor location.
It, however, cannot be used to detect suppressed gunfire or gunfire within a building or home.
Sensors are installed in various undisclosed locations throughout the island.
When a gun goes off, officers in the mobile unit should receive a message on their cell phones indicating when and where the gunshot went off. Officers in the dispatch unit/control room also receive the alert.