ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rockford Police Department has been using new technology to track down gunshot and improve public safety in the forest city.
The police have been using a ShotSpotter device over the past several months. This device can detect the sound of a gunshot and pinpoint its location.
Since the start of using the ShotSpotter, police have made 16 arrests. On October 9th, ShotSpotter picked up shots fired in the 1100 block of 17th Avenue, leading to the arrest of Jerry Tilley. the device lets officers get to the locations faster, find more evidence and ultimately allows for Rockford to be a safer place for the community and our officers.
"In the past when it's kinda fuzzy information and people are not quite sure where it's at. An officer can actually drive through a location where the shots were coming from and not even know it because he didn't know where it was coming from and he could go through the hot zone of where the shots were at and not even know it. but now we know exactly where it's happening," said Andre Brass, assistant deputy chief, Rockford Police Department.
"We've engaged our community. We've invested in our department with technology and with people and we have really focused on the most violence of violent offenders and are working to take them off the streets every day," said Rockford Mayor, Thomas McNamara.
This technology also assists in finding evidence and allows more communication between police and areas plagued by gun violence.
Gunshot-related incidents are down 18 percent since September of 2017. The city and police department says they will continue to work together to improve public safety.