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Pasadena To Implement Gunshot Detection System, Considers 'Ring' Cameras In High Crime Areas

PASADENA (CBSLA) — Pasadena will implement new crime-fighting technology, such as a gunshot detection system, as part of an initiative to enhance policing in the city.

"We are looking at the possibility of installing 'Ring' cameras for residences," said Pasadena Police Department Lt. Bill Grisafe. "We just began looking at that, there may be other ventures that may be helpful."

The Pasadena police said that home security video recorded on "Ring" cameras helps investigators piece together crime scenes quickly and more accurately, so much so that the Pasadena City Council is considering a program to give cameras to residents in high crime areas. This project is part of PPD's effort to implement new technologies to combat a rise in violent crime.

"There's different technologies that we need to take advantage of," said Grisafe. "To help our efforts in solving crime. Technology is so useful. It's not the end all, be all."

While the City Council is still considering the camera initiative, the city is set to launch its gunshot detection system from ShotSpotter, which police said can dispatch officers faster and more precisely after a shooting. The gunshot detection system will launch next week in the Villa Parke area, where authorities said gun violence is more concentrated. The city has also approved a $165,000 purchase of automatic license plate readers, which will be deployed in the Rose Bowl area.

The integration of technology into the PPD is in response to a rise in violent crime in the past few years, however, police said the violence appeared to peak in 2020, with assaults with a deadly weapon down 10%  and homicides down 16% from 2020-2021. Families of crime victims, like the family of  Mario Ramirez a 10-year-old who was shot last year on Valentine's Day while playing outside his home, support the use of the system hoping that it will help protect their neighborhood.

While the police department and families of victims are excited to implement this is new crime-fighting technology, the new initiative drew some ire from others during the city's most recent council meeting.

"This is an alarming continuation in the creepy increases in surveillance by Pasadena city police," a resident said during a recent council meeting.

They also displayed their concern for privacy, fearing that the police may share data with other agencies.

"We have an individual contract with those agencies so that we know exactly who they're sharing with," rebutted Grisafe. "And we impose conditions on those agencies so it's not shared inappropriately.

The "Ring" cameras idea will be revised during a city council meeting in March, to allow residents to comment on the proposed initiative.


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