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City of Freeport buys new program to help detect shots fired

Leaders say they invested $50,000 into the software to help curb gun violence.
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - As more gun violence seeps into the streets of Freeport, leaders take action by implementing a new program to help curb this troubling trend.

“Late last fall we saw a significant rise in gun violence last year, so as a community we were trying to figure out different ways to combat the issues and this was one of those ways,” said Freeport Police Chief Matthew Summers.

The city recently purchased ShotSpotter. Through the help of censors, the software alerts officers when and where a gun goes off.

“Our officers will get their alerts if they’re downloaded on their cell phone, computers and their squads and dispatch will get them too,” said Summers.

City Manager Randy Bukas says while it’s only been in place for a few weeks he’s happy with the investment so far.

“It’s identified a couple of shots that have been fired in a couple of neighborhoods of ours and we were able to get our police department over there rather quickly in matter a fact before we got our first phone call from a resident,” said Bukas.

Summers says while this program is helpful officers still need cooperation from the community.

“This isn’t I heard shots so I’m not going to look because there’s this system that can tell the cops this already happened and I don’t need to be involved this just notifies us quicker, but we still need to talk to the community,” said Summers.

Freeport’s Elder Leon Ishman III is also working to stop the violent crime and says in part, “We can’t just sit back and let this gain momentum. We have to be the change we want to see.”

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