WNYT.com

Troy Police to get rid of 'ShotSpotter'

Posted at: 10/31/2012 5:01 PM
Updated at: 11/01/2012 11:44 AM
By: John McLoughlin

TROY - Just a few years ago, Troy police were excited about a new crime-fighting system called ShotSpotter.

It was expensive, but it promised to notify police just as soon as shots were fired in any particular location.

Now, they're getting rid of it.

A California company sold the  system to a bunch of cities, including Troy. But now Troy's current police chief says it does not work all the time and it is much too expensive for the service provided.

In September 2008 the Troy police showed off ShotSpotter, a network of 24 audio devices that are able to detect the sound of a gunshot so cops can be there in a matter of seconds

"Well, looking back I would not buy it, you know," Chief John Tedesco said.

Troy's police chief says it's not reliable and that back in March it did not detect the gunshots that killed a 17-year–old at Ninth and Rensselaer streets.

"When you're talking about officer safety and this thing sends an office to the wrong place and the bad guys are not there at all, but nearby, that's when you can put an officer in jeopardy," Tedesco said.

The system cost $250,000 to launch, plus a $39,000 annual fee and $6,000-plus to fly in a company rep to make any changes.

The chief told the City Council the whole system will be scrapped.

The chief says that Tuesday night, at the very time that he was telling the council that it does not work, there were shots at Sixth Avenue and the system did not detect it

Harry Tutunjian was mayor when ShotSpotter was bought into the system. He says cops never told him that it did not work. Tutunjian says he does not think it was a waste.

"We did spend $250,000 to acquire the system. So I would hope they would try to work out these things and make the system fully workable," the former mayor said.