HOT SPRINGS, Ark- The Hot Springs Police Department will invest nearly 200,000 annually to expand its ShotSpotter detective service in the city.
The department first installed the device which alerts officers to the sounds of gunfire this summer. The expansion will now cover 4 square miles instead of 2 square miles.
Jjesus Anaya with the department says the expansion will increase call volume. In the past, officers would sometimes have to wait until a neighbor called shot in.
“Some are scared, some may think they didn’t really hear gunshots and maybe push it off as something else,” Anaya said.
In 2020, the department says they received nearly 800 shots fired called.
They believe the ShotSpotters will increase call volume and make response time quicker.
“A lot of the times you can pinpoint where the shots came from and potentially where they are going towards,” Anaya said.
Anaya says response time is important because of the potential that someone is hurt or the suspect is still nearby.
The department did not comment on how many arrests have been able to be made from the device thus far but say call volume has increased by 10 per day.
“A lot of the times we will have officers on the scene before we even get information from dispatch,” Anaya said.
The department says the expansion will continue to focus on high crime areas.
Carl Martinez lives in the Albert Pike neighborhood. He says a system like this would be useful.
“I hear gunshots probably at least once a week if not more,” Martinez said.
Others believe the system costs too much.
The Hot Springs Police Department says expansion work will begin in January with full operation in the following three to four months.