INDIANAPOLIS — Chris Staab said he thought the gunshots that were heard in his eastside neighborhood the other night were fired next door to his house.
“Officers were sitting at a site eight blocks away and they turned it over to dispatch saying they heard the shots but couldn’t tell where they came from until all of a sudden neighbors started calling in and 15 shots were fired that night and were found in the 10th and Rural location,” he said.
Staab’s neighborhood will be in the center of a five square mile area where IMPD will be launching an audio gunshot detector pilot program this spring.
Three vendors answered the city’s call for such technology that will be tested simultaneously.
“When we get the detection of a gunshot, we will also have a higher chance of a lead generating from that. So, we will have a picture of a vehicle fleeing the scene or a suspect running by a camera,” said IMPD Commander Matt Thomas, who eventually sees the gunshot detector system as part of a layered technology response to Indianapolis gun violence to include license plate readers.
“When a vehicle is traveling down the road, a photograph is taken of the vehicle and license plate. The license plate number is entered into a database which our investigators can then access for a period of 30 days.”
Thomas said the National Policing Institute will be paying for 25 LPRs on IMPD’s Southwest District in Haughville while the department determines locations for up to 200 more readers citywide.
IMPD and the City will also enhance the public safety camera system.
“We expect that’s going to double our views we have in the city provided that we’re at 250 now we expect to be closer to 500,” said Thomas.
Mayor Joe Hogsett has committed $9 million over the next three years to enhance IMPD’s technology.
Upgraded systems will also require additional spending and staffing.
The City is currently evaluating vendor proposals to determine which systems will be purchased and installed.