MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A new program launched Wednesday will share data about when and where gunshots are happening in the City of Mobile.
Mobile is one of three cities involved in the program right now. The program, Data for Good, is designed to help communities curb gun violence.
It’s a more comprehensive approach, connecting community organizations like hospitals and school systems with police to reduce crime.
“Can use the data and information about where gun violence may be existent and persistent to investigate what other problems may be at the root of those problems,” said Dr. Gerard Tate, the director of community impact and engagement for Shotspotter.
According to ShotSpotter – about 80% of gunfire is unreported to police.
Since ShotSpotter went live in Mobile this July, more than 3,000 shots have been detected, there has been a total of 10 calls to 911 in those coverage areas.
“Individuals who live in those areas where there’s a lot of gunfire like that, they tend to experience a lot of trauma that can lead to mental health problems, health problems in young children. We know repeated trauma causes developmental delays in brain structure and can lead to acting out in school,” said Dr. Cindy Gipson, the associate director of crisis services with Altapointe Health.
Data for good works by interpreting and understanding gunfire trends, to identify which communities and schools are most in need of assistance.
“Case managers and other support can go in and try to understand the why, how it continues to happen and address those root causes. But if they don’t know exactly where to go, or when the incidents are happening, it’s very hard to make the quick interventions that are needed to stabilize young people,” said Dr. Tate.
Mobile Police will be working with organizations like Altapointe, Univesity Hospital, the Mobile County Public School System, and the Mobile County Public Health Department, to name a few. to make sure help is sent where, and when it’s needed.
“You think about holistic approaches to solving problems that are so complex that law enforcement alone cannot solve. So when you are able to get information outside of your realm of collection, it allows you to do some prevention in ways that will help truly mitigate some of the things we’re seeing in our city,” said Commander Curtis Graves, with the Mobile Police Department.
Mobile joins Miami-Dade, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, as the other cities involved with this program so far.
FULL RELEASE FROM SHOTSPOTTER:
SHOTSPOTTER ANNOUNCES “DATA FOR GOOD” PROGRAM TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY VIOLENCE PREVENTION GROUPS AND OTHER NON-LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATIONS
Community Partners Receive Access to Gunfire Alert Data to More Precisely Deploy Social, Economic and Public Health Resources to Neighborhoods Experiencing Persistent Gun Violence
FREMONT, Calif., December 7, 2022 – ShotSpotter, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSTI), a leader in precision policing technology solutions that enable law enforcement to more effectively respond to, investigate, and deter crime, announced today the launch of Data for Good, a community-focused program that shares precision data about where and when gun violence occurs so non-law enforcement organizations can provide prompt interventions to residents in need of services and support. With timely and accurate gunfire location data, community violence intervention groups, social services, mental health professionals and many other community organizations can better direct their resources to prevent future violence, address root causes, and provide assistance to those adversely impacted by exposure to persistent gun violence.
According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, survivors of firearm injury have a 51% increase in psychiatric disorders and an 85% increase in substance use disorders. Individuals exposed to ongoing gunfire incidents can experience PTSD-like symptoms and require immediate follow-up. Local and national organizations in communities across the country help to address this problem through a variety of means, including violence intervention and prevention, counseling and economic assistance.
ShotSpotter’s Data for Good program helps law enforcement customers identify offices of violence prevention, schools, city and county public health departments and other community organizations that would receive gunfire data and analytics including heat maps and dashboards. These tools indicate where gunfire and potential trauma may be occurring so the appropriate community resources can be deployed to offer immediate and lasting support and help address the core issues that drive crime.
“ShotSpotter technology is known as a tool for helping law enforcement save lives and improve the safety of communities we serve nationwide. I’m excited to now share that our Data for Good program will extend this positive impact more deeply into violence prevention and community assistance work,” said Ralph A. Clark, President and CEO of ShotSpotter. “We hope to see this grow from the handful of community organizations that currently utilize ShotSpotter gunfire data to hundreds of partners across the country that deploy their social, health and economic resources to the right places at the right times in order to help prevent violence.”
Walking One Stop has been using ShotSpotter data since July 2019 to determine where to dispatch their violence intervention and social support teams in Miami-Dade County, Florida to assess and address the needs of residents in at-risk and underserved areas. It often includes the local workforce development mobile unit where residents receive on-the-spot assistance with employment and vocational training. “This is the best example of collective efficacy I’ve ever seen,” said Wayne Rawlins, founder of Walking One Stop. “It’s law enforcement walking in lockstep with community members, going right to the doorstep of the homes that have been impacted by gun and gang violence and providing resources thanks to ShotSpotter pinpointing where to send us.”
The Mobile Police Department spearheads Operation Echo Stop that brings together law enforcement, the community and civic leaders across the city to reduce gun violence. The group partners with ShotSpotter to provide data that supports their victim services, family intervention outreach, and engagement activities. “ShotSpotter brings stakeholders from various community groups together in real time with task assignments and information sharing to address the social, psychiatric, educational, spiritual and physical health of individuals effected by the trauma of gun violence in our community,” said Dr. Cindy Gibson, Associate Director for Crisis Services, AltaPointe Health and Associate Professor, South Alabama Department of Psychiatry.
The Baton Rouge Police Department shares ShotSpotter data with faith-based community organizations, violence interrupters, and other nonprofits. Sharing ShotSpotter data informs where to direct timely interventions and necessary resources to keep the community safe. “Gun violence is a community issue, not a police issue. So we’re taking that same data and pushing it to our service providers. And for anyone else who is involved in dealing with the root causes of crime, we’re willing to share that data with them as well,” said Police Chief Murphy Paul of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
To learn more about how ShotSpotter assists community-based and civic programs, please visit our Data for Good page.