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Oakland Considers Scrapping ShotSpotter, Richmond Says They Couldn’t Do Without It

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OAKLAND (KCBS)— At a cost of over a quarter-million dollars a year, some on the Oakland Police Department think ShotSpotter, the gunfire detection tool, is too expensive and may have run its course. The City of Richmond, however, says it can’t do without it.

While Oakland has expressed interest in spending the money on other technology, Richmond’s police department said the system has been a valuable crime-fighting tool.

“I believe it’s even helped with one or two of our homicide cases in the past on locating evidence. It’s definitely a tool that we use on a daily basis,” Richmond Police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.

Richmond City Councilman Jim Rogers said he’s glad the city has invested in technological assistance for officers.

“I think it’s a good investment. The police chief fully supports it and I fully support it,” Rogers said.

The system detects and alerts police to gunshots in a specific area. Oakland’s City Council is expected to vote on whether or not to renew the ShotSpotter contract. That system blankets both East and West Oakland and recorded nearly 260 incidents of gunfire in the month of February alone.

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