PSPD plans to deploy listening devices to detect gunshots
Palm Springs police are considering deploying new technology to a neighborhood in the northern part of the city, officials say, that is often riddled with gun violence.
ShotSpotter is a PSPD law enforcement technology consulting with the Desert Highland Gateway Estates community on implementation. He uses gunshot listening devices mounted on telephone poles, traffic signs and buildings.
“Acoustic devices are installed throughout the city, so if a gunshot takes place, the central station can determine more or less where this gunshot took place,” Lt. Gustavo Araiza said. “We can dispatch agents with a faster response time than waiting for the caller to call.”
The neighborhood is often the target of gunfire: in February, it experienced two deadly shootings less than a week apart.
On February 19, a woman named Elisa Dorsey was found dead on the 600 block of Rosa Parks Road.
And on February 25 on the same street, an accident scene was the result of a homicide. Police now claim a cannabis delivery driver was randomly murdered after completing his drop off.
Palm Springs Police Department chiefs surveyed the neighborhood to ask residents what they think of the new technology’s implementation. Araizo said the overwhelming majority were interested.
“In most cases, a lot of people think of privacy when we talk about surveillance systems, but when we talk about [ShotSpotter] specifically, most people said “I’m not going to go out and shoot a gun, so I don’t care whether or not my privacy is involved in this scenario,” he said. .
Araizo said ShotSpotter would eliminate the need for a resident to report gunshots, instead allowing police to track the shots themselves – which police say is a proactive approach in a community in dire need of solutions.
Area residents wouldn’t tell us on camera about the technology, but opponents say it could lead police to target innocent residents simply based on where gunshots are heard.
In a statement to News Channel 3, the vice president of the neighborhood’s Community Action Association said, “If the city really wanted to end gun violence, they would listen to the community and use those funds to invest in 2 communities in order to create the social environment where young people would have the tools to deal with conflicts.