Milwaukee to get more sensors that pinpoint gunfire

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MADISON (WITI) -- Gov. Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 693, Friday morning, April 11th, which provides funds for the ShotSpotter program in Milwaukee.  Shot Spotter is a gunshot locator system, which uses sensors to pinpoint gunfire and quickly relay the information to the police.

The new bill provides $175,000 toward the funding of the program in Milwaukee for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The money will allow the program's coverage area to expand to ten square miles with matching funds from the City and County.

“We know the ShotSpotter program is effective in helping combat gun violence in Milwaukee,” Gov. Walker said. “This gives law enforcement another tool and more information to help them keep Milwaukee area residents and visitors safe."

The future of the program had been in question recently, with talk of removing funds altogether. The City has spent $300,000 on the program and the County $175,000, which the state has now matched.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn says before the ShotSpotter program, the department was only getting calls about 14 person of shots fired incidents.

"We were able to use ShotSpotter, not simply for rapid response, but we've used it actively to develop intelligence about patterns and trends of gunfire. We have been able to associate that gunfire with individuals and groups that related in high quality arrest and gun seizures," said Chief Flynn.

Chief Flynn says the goal of the program is to expand to the south side and other areas the department is aiming for community development.

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