Washington, D.C.— Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI-05) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08) introduced legislation to direct the US Attorney General (AG) to make grants to states and localities for gunfire detection and location technology. The AG would be authorized to allocate $10 million annually for the next four fiscal years.

Rep. Sensenbrenner: “This commonsense legislation will help law enforcement quickly and accurately locate violent crimes, cut down on response time, and save lives. Cities like Milwaukee have already begun utilizing this type of technology and have with positive results. I’m grateful to Congressman Jeffries for joining me in leading this important effort.”

Background:
Cities like Milwaukee have already begun utilizing gunshot detection technology. Networked sensors are placed throughout a coverage area to detect the origin of gunshots. Once a gunshot is detected, the technology calculates the position of the shooter and instantly notifies law enforcement with real-time data delivered to dispatch centers, patrol cars, and smart phones.

Police stations that have access to shot detecting technology can arrive at the scene faster and better prepared to protect the public and themselves as well as attend to victims. Further, information gather is secured in a database and then turned into preemptive intelligence, which provides for better dispatch of resources and improved collection of evidence.

Far too often gunfire incidents are not reported to 911 dispatchers. This means law enforcement begin responding to crimes with significantly limited information. Additionally, reports of gunfire often contain vague or inaccurate information resulting in lost time and less efficient response by law enforcement.

Early data suggests that use of gunfire detection technology has shown positive results. According to a report, the city of Milwaukee has seen a 38 percent decrease in the amount of gunshots fired in areas where this technology was used from 2017 to 2018 showing that its use can act as a deterrent.